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How to Win at Work in 2022

Pepperdine Graziadio

Ready to smash all of your professional goals this year?

Eager to reach new professional heights? To conquer the workplace mountain, submerging your flag at the apex of your organization?

Good news because I have the secret superpower that will help you win at work in 2022. And unlike Peter Parker who got bit by a toxic spider, Bruce Banner who got shot with gamma radiation, or Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello who got exposed to toxic ooze, you do not need to come into contact with anything harmful to unleash it. 

What you do need to do – become more connectable

The term connectable means to link together. When people are teachable, they are ready and willing to be taught. Similarly, when people are connectable, they are ready and willing to be connected. Today’s smart devices are connectable. Users can connect their smartphone, for example, to a smart TV or charging station, making the device more powerful, intelligent, and useful. Similarly, being connectable at work amplifies one’s ability to get things done. 

In my book, Connectable - How Leaders Can Move Teams From Isolated To All In, I break down how leaders at all levels can strengthen connections with their team, their work, and themselves. In this article, I’ve summarized three of my strategies to do so.

Becoming connectable is a worthy mission because nothing of significance has ever been created alone. Together we dream, build, and grow. We are limited by our lonesome and infinite in our abilities when we collaborate fully. 

The power of “connectability” can be yours by:

  1. Listening to unlock,
  2. Identifying progress, and
  3. Letting your armor down.

Listening to Unlock

We typically listen to win or listen to fix. Listening to win is listening for ammo you can use to defend your point and listening to fix is listening to provide guidance. Neither listening style increases your “connectability.” Listening to unlock, however, is listening through a state of genuine curiosity. When you listen to unlock, you listen with the intent to understand. To fully see the situation and empathize with the individual. Listening to unlock requires you to subdue your advice or perspective long enough to get the whole story from the person speaking. 

You can do this by following the two-question rule. Before sharing your reaction, perspective or feedback; ask two questions. Asking two clarifying questions will give you the intel you need to really unlock where the person is coming from. A little bit more time listening to unlock will make you incredibly connectable. 

Identifying Progress

Teresa Amabile, Harvard professor and author of The Progress Principle, found that making progress at work is the single most engaging activity you can partake in. It is essentially why video games are so addictive. Seeing the levels advance, or points amass, feels good. We stay committed to the task when we know we are heading in the right direction. 

This means that you can make your work more connectable by tracking the progress being made. The more progress you identify, the more tuned in you will be with your work.

This can happen by self-auditing your performance each day. At the end of the day give yourself a score of one, two, or three. One means you made very little progress and might need to adjust your strategy. Two means you moved the needle and noticed a bump in your completion status. Three means you successfully knocked off important tasks on your to-do list. 

Taking a minute at the end of each day to audit your progress is a great way to connect more fully to your work. 

Let Down Your Armor 

Trying to conceal your fear, doubt, or insecurities to maintain a false appearance of unshakeable confidence is a quick way to sabotage being connectable as no one really sees you. They instead see the avatar you’ve created for others to marvel at. It is impossible to be connectable if people are unable to see the real you. We can’t collaborate successfully unless we trust, understand, and appreciate the people we work with, which makes letting down our armor more imperative. 

While not easy, you can begin letting your armor down by being relatable versus vulnerable. 

Being relatable is curating what we share in ways that help to establish a social or sympathetic relationship with others. Vulnerability is feeling like we have to share the raw emotional state we are in while relatability is about being mindful of what we share and why. When we find the right way to replace our polished professional presence with stories of our life and some genuine insight into what’s going on with us, we give people the opportunity to really connect with who we are. 

Winning at work begins and ends with how connected you are. Listen to unlock, identify progress, and let down your armor. These three strategies will boost your connective magnetism and help you win at work.  

To learn more about addressing loneliness in the workplace, visit LessLonely.com, the world’s first resource fully dedicated to reducing worker isolation and strengthening team connections. Follow the authors @RyanandSteven for more connection insights. 

Steven Van Cohen

About the Author

Name: Steven Van Cohen

Program: MS in Organization Development, 2011

Industry: Author and Consultant

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