This is OK on Friday

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Every Friday, I send out an email with the most intriguing or cool things I found and enjoyed that week.

“This is OK on Friday” is a free weekly newsletter that gives you tiny bits of food for thought that I personally like or find interesting and thought-provoking. Typically, these are useful tools, tips, techniques, and thought-provoking portions of information to enhance your well-being at work and in life in general.

Wartime Diary Notes — the privilege of long-term planning, adaptation and what really matters  

* Written in April 2022, during the russian invasion of Ukraine. 

What if you ‘switch off’ the long-term planning? 

For me it was down for about a month because of the need to make decisions right now without any chance to know what comes next. In fact even short term planning was limited, because the other day you would not even say about one hour of perspective. 

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Do you have a “toxic” team? I’ve got good news for you

What is a toxic team? Toxic people? No, Not really. 

Better way to define it as toxic relationships between people in a team. And it’s important, because if we say that people are toxic it is impossible to change, but if we say behavior is toxic, this is a whole different story. 

And the good news is that it is totally under a team manager’s area of influence. So if you are managing a team, and it now behaves in a “toxic” way, it is not hard to fix. I’ll tell you four simple steps to take so you can improve it right away. 

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4 Steps to Effective Change Planning within Change Management

How to plan a change in 4 steps?
Effective change management planning in 4 steps

You’ve probably heard this phrase or the so-called first rule of programming: “If it works don’t touch it”. I believe there is something about this joke, at least to the point that you shouldn’t change for the sake of change. And when you decide to change something you clearly understand why and what you want to achieve. 

If you simply ask yourself these four questions you can ensure you are good to go with your change management program:

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A common mistake in change management: “We need more gold!”

A common mistake in change management: "We need more gold!"

That’s something I regularly encounter when a manager needs to improve a process, fix something that doesn’t work and so on. A number of times it starts with “first we need to” and follows by anything that means obtaining additional resources: hiring a new team, ordering the services of a consultant, buying an expensive training course, renting a new office, subscribing to a new software etc. Of course, at some level, these options are excellent, although they are hardly the best place to start.

Why do managers, and especially beginners, tend to opt for these additional resources from the very beginning in a change management process? Because it seems easier than working with existing resources. Sometimes it is easier in fact and sometimes not, but almost always more expensive in the short run.   

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What Is Wrong With 360-Degree Feedback?

Management tools: one-on-one VS 360-degree feedback. What Is Wrong With 360-Degree Feedback?

The 360 degree feedback method was introduced somewhere in the 1950s and is still chart-topping more than 7 decades after. While it does provide a value, there are things to consider before using it. 

The main point is bias and reasoning behind someone’s opinion. Even though this method is considered by many as non biased as there are many participants who provide feedback.

But look at this from a team’s perspective, not a theoretical one. You have certain people and everyone with certain reasoning. So when you ask for a feedback in a form of 360 degree you can do the following:

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Build on your strengths rather than focus on your weaknesses

Self development and motivation: build on your strengths rather than focus on your weaknesses

Often when we want to develop ourselves we pinpoint our weaknesses as opportunities for improvement. And that is ok when we want to get rid of some behavior that makes us unhappy or hinder our progress. 

But look at this from another perspective. If you want to achieve something, progress, then the way of improving your weaknesses will take your focus and rather bring you to zero, if you count weaknesses as minuses. Say, -1 becomes 0. 

From the other hand if you build on your strengths you will evolve from plus to multiple pluses, i.e. you will more likely excel at a chosen niche that you are good at and will become even stronger with a stronger competitive advantage. Say, 1 becomes 2 or 3. It is naturally easier to further develop your strengths because you are like a fish in water in this field already. And you more likely do not have a cognitive difficulty to start working on that and dedicate time and effort. 

Do you know your strengths? 

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What motivates us?

Fun and motivation

Lots of theories out there. The one is for sure, it’s not only about money. Because in the end money is a tool to make or get something that really matters. If you want to build a house it is The house that you want, or even further, The comfort that you will get in this new house built according to your dreams etc. 

But when we talk about money as a compensation for a job it is often the same. If you consider a certain salary at an expected level of what you can make, this will not motivate you nor demotivate you. If salary is below expectations it will demotivate. If salary is above expectations  it will motivate for a short time, then it will become a new level of expectations and so will neither motivate nor demotivate you. 

So what motivates people? 

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“Five seconds rule” or how you make your mind to start a task you usually skip

When some part of you does not want to do something it will find a reason to justify inaction. For example your conscious hard-working part wants to read a scientific book and your procrastinating part wants to scroll more Instagram stories. And whether you read a book or watch stories depends on which your part wins at a given moment: procrastinating or hard-working. 

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