I have learnt that people need to be challenged in order to grow. This, by nature, is not always enjoyable during the process, but the outcome makes it worthwhile. When discomfort is met with resistance, the full impact of the opportunity is lost. Change is a constant, and it is best just to accept it as it comes.
I have been so lucky to be constantly challenged by my supervisors and peers in my position this summer as an Orientation Assistant. I been pushed to improve and aim for excellence.
Here are 5 ways you can challenge yourself to achieve excellence in the work place:
1) Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable: If you want different results, you must do what you have not done before. Uncomfortable situations allow someone to think, reflect, and grow. For example, public speaking is an uncomfortable experience for many people. The discomfort of talking in front of a group of people often forces people to either accept it and rise to occasion, or to falter under the pressure.
2) Ask for Feedback: Many employers want to help you grow because they see potential in you. Feedback can be difficult to hear, but it is important for identifying areas of improvement. Feedback allows you to discover yourself in the lens through others, and to consider areas for improvement, which you may not be able to identify on your own.
3) Ask to Be a Part of a Project Outside of What You Already Know: Accept the challenge to think in a new capacity or learn about a new area of your work. This can be difficult, but taking on a project outside of your comfort zone is a great way to learn from people with a different skill set or different knowledge than yourself.
4) Self-Reflect : Ask yourself the tough questions, try to find meaning in your work, transfer your skills from the work place into day-to-day practice, ask yourself why? Why do you do what you do, why did that conversation spark an emotional response within you? What are some areas that you could improve in?
5) Think About the Impact, Rather Than the Intention: It is said that only 7% of communication is through words, the other 93% of communication is through non-verbal cues such as body language, and facial expression. Often, the intention behind the message is not the same as the impact of the message. In other words, messages are not always received the way they are intended. Stop, and think. Learning to see other people’s perspectives can be difficult, but this is a skill that takes time to develop. After a conflict arises, learning to see where someone is coming from can help you realize the impact of your actions and how you affect those around you. When working with a small team, or working closely with others, resolving conflicts in an efficient manner is essential for group cohesion. Ideally, over time, these skills will help prevent conflicts by changing the way you approach a disagreement in the work place.