After some much needed emotional and mental healing I’m back and rejuvenated for this new year of the culture-driven leader!
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This time of year is always filled with new plans, new goals and passions we want to make happen this year because this will be the year different from all years before it right?
I’m a big fan of shaking the cobwebs and learning from what didn’t work before and how we might improve? So what’s the obsession with resolutions? Is it appropriate when we may not know what the year may hold? This year or any year? How different are we on January 1st from December 31st?
That amount of pressure to put on ourselves and those around us never sat well with me but what we can do is understand where we are and where we want to be and how to get there.
In this week’s episode we’re doing a deep dive into behavior change. What does it look like and if we can achieve it?
My Plans…are you in?
Things I’m working on and how you can be a part of the process but first, some strategies for intention setting instead of resolutions we’ll never hear from again.
Making decisions can be difficult for many when we have so many options in front of us. The dental care aisle is my worst nightmare with it’s myriad of choices that differ very little from each other. Mint or spearmint? Green or blue? Does it really matter?
But when it comes to hard decisions actual decisions that impact your life from what to study, what industry to go for work, if the job is worth the micro aggressions or the slow mediocre promotional track?
According to Ruth Chang, a philosopher and a professor of jurisprudence at Oxford University, she has this theory on decision making that I love.
First, what’s the difference between a big choice and a hard choice?
Big Choice: Life-saving surgery is big but not usually hard if you want to continue living. Right?
Hard Choice: Two decisions that are very similar- two jobs, living in two different cities, etc. Both have pros and cons but neither is definitively better than the other, but choosing one and committing to it is the part that makes it hard.
While choosing one and wistfully regretting not taking the road less traveled makes the decision process unbearable.and for many it makes us live life with a feeling of regret or contemplating if we’ve made the right choice for ourselves.
This insecurity in decisionmaking is a long believed stereotype of millennials among others but can often derail us completely if not riddle us with anxiety over our big life decisions.
Be the Author of your life. Author being an acronym for
A is ascertain what’s important. Who’s opinion matters such as your parents or if there’s a certain goal or career type you’re looking to achieve. Totally get both of those angles.
U is for understand the pros and cons with respect to what matters. But remember these are options that may be similar in standing so finding those deep pros and cons may be more difficult than we realize.
T is for tally up the pros and cons, another not small feat depending on the hard decision.
H is for hone in on the fact that it’s a hard choice- the options are on par with each other no option is definitively better than another. Choosing a promotion in Germany vs taking the same position at another company for some may be relatively similar depending on career plans but they are both relatively great options as long as you keep A in mind.
O is for open yourself up to the possibility of making a commitment, this is where Chang lays it down. Commitment in making a choice makes all the difference.
R is for remake yourself as someone who or realize yourself as someone who has committed to a choice. If you choose the Germany position, you would have to be a person that has committed to agreeing to a promotion in Germany versus being a person that takes the same job at another organization. Neither is bad but they both have very different potential realities.
As a person that spent 6 years in a foreign country I know this very near and dear to my heart. Had I stayed, I might be in the same circles that I was in before I left like most people I found from back home. But the alternative? Let me to meet my husband, now have a daughter and be with you now living in my 4 country.
What I love about this strategy for decisionmaking is that she’s not telling you what to do- that’s up to you. But what she is saying is that commitment is key. Realize yourself as a person that is this person.
How does this relate to new year plans and behaviour?
We all know that intention is only a piece of the puzzle. You hope to make a change this year? Great but how can you actually do so? You have to commit to that change.
Easier said than done right?
Of course, everything that requires introspection and commitment always is.
So what if we took that same level of commitment for something we wanted to achieve this year? It can be anything but it should be something you actually want and are willing to commit to.
It doesn’t have to be big. Start small. Use those smart goals we all know about.
Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound.
I was able to achieve so much of what I planned on in 2020 because I started prioritizing and learning strategic methods of working on the one thing.
If you’ve never read The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan it’s great!
Highly suggest it because the truth is not all lists are created equal, learning to prioritize and figuring out what works best for you is the number one way to learn how to change behavior. It doesn’t happen all at once, it may not happen as quickly as you hoped but if you commit and allow yourself to learn from the process, it’ll make all the difference.
For Organizations and Employees
Another note as employees return from holidays and staycations because let’s face it where did we go? But anyway, remember all those commitments and intentions that companies set out for themselves last year? Increasing and retaining more diverse talent, working to close the gender equity gap, equal pay for equal work, promoting more people of color to c-suite, etc. At the bare minimum releasing their diversity numbers so you know who you’re getting into bed with.
Now that the new year has started remind them that those intentions still need to be held accountable. DEI is not new but its priority has slipped from many organizations’ front page.
It happens to the best of us, we move on- especially when we are not directly impacted by it. We need to make sure to remind our employers and the organizations we work in that it matters to all of us because inclusion is not only the burden of people of color or marginalized peoples. It really is the responsibility of everyone.
We all know innovation happens when we bring in new ideas our products speak to our customers in better ways, our bottom line increases because at the end of the day inclusion means being intentional and choosing to remake yourself as the person or your organization as that which has made the commitment to inclusion and not regretting that choice. Because the alternative no longer exists.
So what will 2021 hold for you?
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Yours in kind,
Jessy Santana, The Way We Work founder