Take 5

Got 5 minutes for learning? Take 5: five insights, five career development areas, 52 weeks. Making workplace learning continuous, accessible, relevant and fun. Access every Take 5 post at this page.

Five Final Thoughts About Growth at Work… Ending with the Beginning in Mind - We started this series with five career risks you should consider taking …seems fitting to end with some prompts that help you do just that. Pitch a new idea to the big boss: Take time this week to write a note to the big boss with your awesome idea to “improve, streamline, simplify, save or raise money, be more inclusive, create a happier client, improve productivity, and/or morale or any other positivity generating” thing you can think of.
5 Ways to Improve Your Own (and others) Morale - Use these (and any other actions you can think of) to regain a feeling of recognition, excitement, involvement, connection and positivity toward your work and future... Take a moment to personally recognize a colleague for a job well done (don’t put this off, do it today). Peer-to- peer recognition can be as powerful as formal recognition programs – and it is a critical bonding activity. Make yours as personal (and meaningful) as possible.
Five Resources for Better Problem Solving - 5 Stages in the Design Thinking Process, The Power of Outsiders NY Times Video, Change One Habit to Change Everything NY Times Video, The Achievement Habit - Bernard Roth, d.school Reading List
Five Ways to Help Yourself and Others Accept “Change as the Norm” - Expect It Most organizations, including UC Berkeley, are going through constant evaluation, assessment, and related re-alignments of people and resources (driven by the desire to remain competitive and effective). You probably wouldn’t want to work for an organization that wasn’t future focused and that didn’t have the good sense to make regular adjustments to improve its performance. Change is easier when we both “expect”, “accept” and even welcome it.
Five Ways to Develop “Portable” Skills (and improve your future career options) - Why should you consider how your skills crossover to other employment sectors? Increasing automation, constant change, and economic uncertainty – that’s why. The future of work requires increasing adaptability, flexibility, and the application of a wide range of highly developed skills to ever- changing projects and (potential) future employers. Here’s a few prompts to help you get started…(involve others in this reflective and action-oriented process).
5+ Reflections on Purpose Driven Work - Work is more rewarding when it reflects and incorporates our deepest values and interests. Use the following questions to reflect on the deeper purposes of your work. See if they help you find more enjoyment and meaning in what you do every day. Finding your purpose: Why does your work matter? Why have you chosen to work at UC Berkeley? How does your work make a difference? Does your work reflect your personal values? How and why?
5 of Your Worst Work Nightmares (and how to survive) - It isn’t always pretty at work…but you can respond with dignity. Here’s when and how... Your Boss (or co-worker) Doesn’t Like You (or even worse, actively undermines you): Personalities are tricky. Even if you are doing a great job, there can sometimes be mismatches. Ask yourself, is the source of friction personal, style-related, based on competition, politics or old history? What could you do to dial it back? The new goal oriented performance review process can help minimize the impact of personality or other conflict on your career prospects and future since it is based on evidence from a variety of sources. Be sure you seek and collect impartial input on your performance from everyone with which you interact, not just your boss or immediate working group. This will help minimize possible damage and help you defend yourself during performance review (and when you look for another job).
5 Ways to Make Yourself and Others More Actionable - Bureaucracy tends to invite organizational paralysis through “churn” based on “rigid hierarchy, inflexible rules, slowness due to procedural control, and highly specialized divisions of labor.” (As per Max Weber and Sociology 101). You can counter this when you put less emphasis on “rote” meeting and talking, and more on “creative” doing. Doing is action, and action is purpose and progress. Here’s how to improve your ability to make a difference.
5 Reasons to Focus on Giving at Work - “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of others.” -Charles Dickens... Giving Builds Teams: High performing teams are often individually and collectively generous. They invite vulnerability and risk taking. Similar to many successful sports teams, their winning strategy is based on “selfless play”. Giving Improves Performance: When you lift others up, you improve motivation and job satisfaction.
Five Ways to Work Smarter in an Academic Environment - Get Good at Committee Work: Committees are an integral part of the way the University gets things done and are deeply imbedded in the fabric of our very special University culture. Committee work is different from team work and there can be powerful unwritten rules related to the ways committees operate. Be sure to understand your committee’s reporting line, charge, scope, and what it should produce (and hopefully make “actionable”) as you expand your involvement in committees across campus.
Five Ways to Expand Your Leadership Presence (Even if You Are Not Currently in a Leadership Role) - Boost Your Powers of Persuasion: When was the last time you tested your ability to influence others? Effective leaders often have the exceptional ability to influence, persuade, develop alliances and “vision” for others. As you develop your leadership skills be sure to regularly try out your ability to advance your interests and initiatives and get others not only to see your point of view but support your requests and plans for the future.
Take 5: Five Great Books About Work - Locus of Authority: The Evolution of Faculty Roles in the Governance of Higher Education by William G. Bowen and Eugene M. Tobin “Do higher education institutions have what it takes to reform effectively from within? Locus of Authority argues that every issue facing today's colleges and universities, from stagnant degree completion rates to worrisome cost increases, is exacerbated by a century-old system of governance that desperately requires change.”
Take 5: Strategies for Addressing Five Workplace “Drainers” - Drainer: Negativity “Avoid negative bonding…” and Eight Tips for Handling a Toxic Coworker Drainer: Disorganization Is your disorganized workspace encouraging “originality and a search for novelty…” or is it just a mess? What A Messy Desk Says About You
Take 5: Five Ways to Negotiate Through Workplace Conflict - Start by being a “principled problem solver” by “negotiating on the merits as an alternative to positional bargaining”. According to Fisher and Ury, “taking a position” and “arguing for it and making concessions to reach a compromise” (p. 3) is inefficient “as more attention is paid to positions, less is devoted to meeting the underlying concerns of the parties.” (p. 5)
Take 5: Five Campus Systems That Will Improve Your Learning & Performance - Lynda.com and the following list of On-line Courses and Books Your new FREE video based learning and professional development tool. Use it to build professional skills and expand your career options.
Take 5: Five New Career Realities - The Need to Take a More Entrepreneurial Approach to Career Development Career success is more dependent on “entrepreneurial” thinking and action than ever before. What do I mean by “entrepreneurial” thinking and action? This is the ability to take more risk, actively and aggressively seek out new opportunities and connections, think creatively about career pathways, dedication to developing “crossover” career skills that transcend sector, and the ability (to gracefully) promote oneself and one’s abilities.
Take 5: Five Great Stories about Work Today (and tomorrow) - Why You Hate Work, The Jobs Americans Do, Divisions of Labor, Learning to Love our Robot Co-workers, The Future of Not Working
Take 5: Five Everyday Stress Busters - Start by identifying your stressors. Are they professional? Personal? Temporary? Permanent? How much control do you have over them? It will be easier to develop an action plan if you can identify the source of the problem. You may want to use “design thinking” to help generate solutions… Here are a few simple stress busters that may also help.
Take 5: 5 Ways to Approach the New Goal Oriented Performance Review - Understand “Outcomes” As They Relate to Your Position- Its important to understand that the purpose of the goal oriented performance evaluation is rooted in the idea that what you “produce” is as important as what you actually “do”. In other words the tasks that are the foundation of your job and the way you do them is no longer the single indicator of good performance. What is more important is the impact you have on people, resources and on the effectiveness of your unit. Start by thinking about not only about what you do, know and value but also about what you contribute to the organization.
Take 5: Five Ways to Reward and Recognize Others (even if you are not their manager) - Take Care of Community! Nothing makes life and work more wonderful than generous and supportive colleagues. These individuals can work miracles for your morale, sense of self-worth, and even your future career opportunities. Our university community is made stronger through your efforts to recognize and include others.
Take 5: Five Best Pieces of Career Advice Ever Gotten or Given - Gotten: Always be a little bit uncomfortable with the depth and complexity of your assignments and projects, this is how you learn. Take on projects that you think you cannot do. Risk has its rewards. Fake it til you make it (especially helpful if you are observing items 1 and 2).
Take 5: Five Ways to Eat Better at Work - START WITH THE BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS Skipping breakfast? Carb loading unintentionally? Nothing can get you off to a better start than a healthy breakfast. THINK AHEAD Try prepping on the weekend. Many healthy foods freeze well, can be transported easily and nuked at the office. Develop your inner Martha Stewart people…I know you can.
Take 5: Five Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Chair, Dean, and other Campus Executives - Be Proactive Don’t wait for your Department Chair, Dean or other faculty members in executive roles to come to you. At appropriate intervals, seek them out for regular exchange (observing important chains of command, of course). This may be as simple as sending a quarterly update to your Chair on all you and your unit have accomplished, or inviting them to speak at or attend a staff meeting or retreat.
Take 5: Five Everyday Facilitation Techniques for Managing Open Discussion - Great facilitators often use the following core skills: staying neutral, active listening, and asking open-ended questions to help groups work most productively. Here are five additional skills to help you keep your group interactions on track.
Take 5: Five Career Boosters - Publish A published article in a related journal, newsletter, magazine or other professional publication can lead to new opportunities and connections. This (often national) exposure can make your résumé stand out by highlighting your advanced subject matter expertise.
Take 5: 5 Questions to Help You Better Align Your Work and Values - Work is most rewarding when it reflects our deepest interests and values. Use these questions to help you better align your work with what you hold most dear.
Take 5: Five Employee Benefits You Might Not Realize You Have - Tuition Discounts: UC supports employees who want to further their education by offering discounts on university classes and through UC Online Education. Family Care Resources: UC provides access to Bright Horizons Care Advantage, a web-based resource for finding childcare, eldercare, and other family care providers.
Take 5: Five Ways to Improve Your Presentation Style - Whether you are presenting at a conference, to a working group, providing a project update, or developing a workshop for students or staff, a phenomenal presentation can get you noticed and help advance your career. Look for opportunities to showcase your subject matter expertise or passionate interest in a special topic.
Take 5: Five Conditions for Effective Teams - Hackman, J.R., (2004). What Makes for a Great Team? American Science Agenda/Science Briefs. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2004/06/hackman.aspx. “Our research has identified five conditions that, when present, increase the probability of team effectiveness. These conditions…can be briefly summarized as a series of five questions.
Pumpkin Pie with whipped cream Take 5: Five+ Career Builder Websites You Should Know About - To EXPLORE: The National Career Development Association, Assessment.com: MAPP Your True Calling To LEARN: MindTools, LinkedIn Learning To SEARCH, Indeed, Linkedin To INTERVIEW: About.com For ADVICE: Idealist Careers, Work Coach Cafe
A Special Take 5: Five Passages from “Hope In The Dark” By Rebecca Solnit - xiii “It is important to say what hope is not: it is not the belief that everything was, is, or will be fine. The evidence is all around us of tremendous suffering and tremendous destruction. The hope I’m interested in is about broad perspectives with specific possibilities, ones that invite or demand that we act.”
Take 5: Five Ways to Get Better Work Life Balance - NEGOTIATE YOUR SCHEDULE WHEN YOU’RE HIRED Especially if you are working toward long term goals, like going back to school, that might require time away or flex time. ASK FOR OCCASIONAL FLEX TIME Need some flexibility for childcare, eldercare, or other responsibilities? Try negotiating a “work at home” or other flex time schedule one day a week to help you manage your time most effectively (honor and don’t abuse these arrangements).
Take 5: Five Ways to Improve Your Performance Through Feedback - INVITE IT What if your clients and co-workers could Yelp review you? Would you be surprised by their comments? Don’t wait for your performance evaluation. Ask others to (genuinely) comment on your performance often in both formal and informal ways. Ask them to identify strengths as well as growth areas. If you provide a service, ask your clients for regular feedback and make it clear that you welcome and take this feedback seriously.
Take 5: Five Ways to Leverage Personality, Strengths, and Thinking Styles - ASSESS Take the time to engage in formal personal and collective assessment to understand your own and your co-workers work styles. DISCUSS Make time to share the results openly and talk about how a better understanding of personality, strengths and thinking styles might improve your ability to collaborate.
Take 5: Five Employment Trends You Should Be Watching - WORK ANYWHERE AT ANY TIME “Technological innovation has caused a shuffling of work time and play time. People are using a variety of personal devices to keep up with their work wherever they are. The Institute for the Future argues that rather than being ‘always on’, workers can use evolving technology to work more productively and achieve better results in a shorter time." ...
Take 5: Five “Pause and Think” Quotes About Work - "A job is not just income, It is dignity, hope, purpose." – Leila Janah... "The paradox of work is that many people hate their jobs, but they are considerably more miserable doing nothing." – Derek Thompson.... "Whatever you are, be a good one." – Abraham Lincoln... "It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." – Harry S. Truman... "What would you do if you weren’t afraid?" – Sheryl Sandberg
Take 5: Five Ways to Handle a Professional Setback (Disappointment or Embarrassment) - You might have had a setback but your experience is not YOU. It is just an experience, not a comment on you as a person or even you as a professional. Try not to magnify (make it bigger than it is) or catastrophize (think it will ruin your career). It’s probably a setback that you can move on from with lesson learned.
Take 5: Five Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Boss - FOR YOUR PERFORMANCE: Your boss has a wide range of goals and priorities that you may or may not be aware of. Some bosses are better at communicationg vision than others. Be sure you know what your boss values and wants to accomplish and align your work with their priorities.
Take 5: Five Ways to Develop Your Staff, Mentees, Students and Other People You Care About - FOR YOUR COMMUNITY: This Take 5 post covers suggestions for how to encourage others to take on challenging projects and assignments while providing the support needed for risk taking, creativity and experimentation.
Take 5: Five Ways to Improve Your Elevator Speech (and Generally Manage Up) - FOR YOUR FUTURE: You suddenly find yourself in the elevator with a Vice Chancellor, Dear, Chair of your department or some other senior executive. What do you tell them about yourself and your work? Check out this post to find out!
Take 5: Five Questions You Should Ask Yourself About Your Career - TO REFLECT: Risk is a critical component of creativity and innovation…the stuff of personal, professional, and organizational success. Even small risks, like speaking up in a meeting or pitching a new idea to the boss, can help advance group thinking and problem solving (and get you noticed if you’re doing great work but flying under the radar).
Take 5: Five Ways to be More Active at Work - FOR YOUR WELLBEING: Sit less, move more. Set a timer as a reminder to move hourly. Take a break to walk around the block, the lunchroom, to the restroom (whatever). Take regular stretch breaks! “Studies show that frequent, short rest breaks help combat fatigue and discomfort and have a positive effect on productivity.”
Take 5: Five Professional Skills You Should Be Constantly Building - FOR YOUR PERFORMANCE: When others talk are you simply waiting for the pause so that you can talk or are you truly listening for understanding and connection? When you write, do you leave time for rewrites, edits and input from others? Try this…when you listen, practice good “attending skills”…make direct eye contact, nod, affirm with a yes, track what is being said, and reflect back what you’ve just heard.
Take 5: Five Ways to Create a More Equitable and Inclusive Environment - FOR YOUR COMMUNITY: Self-awareness “of culturally learned assumptions” is the first step. Your life experience is unique and has been shaped by your gender, class, race, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic background, etc. Working effectively across differences will depend on awareness of your own biases and ability to interact with others in humble, respectful, curious, and flexible ways.
Take 5: Five Ways to Get Noticed at Work - FOR YOUR FUTURE: Do something unexpected! Prepare a briefing note, executive summary, report, or paper on something important that your boss did not ask for and was not expecting. If what you create advances a project or idea, is helpful, simplifies, saves time or improves something, you are likely to make others take note of your abilities and initiative.
Take 5: Five “Dream Big” Questions You Should Ask Yourself - TO REFLECT: Your answers to these questions may help you identify what you are passionate about. The Buddhist idea of “right livelihood” is a powerful one. When work is meaningful, personally relevant, and an expression of our deepest values and interests it doesn’t feel like work at all. Thinking deeply about what you would love to do if you could do anything might help you take the first steps to realizing your professional dreams.
Take 5: Five Ways to Improve Your Workday - FOR YOUR WELLBEING: Make time to check-in with co-workers. Find common ground, be curious, look for ways you can create new opportunities for collaboration and support.
Take 5: Five Career Mistakes You Should Avoid - FOR YOUR PERFORMANCE: Out of your comfort zone? Good. This is how, when and why growth happens. Take on something that feels just a bit too big for you. You’ll be amazed at what you’re capable of if you push yourself. (Psst, I do practice this…Take 5 is my current risk.)
Take 5: Five Ways to Create a More Civil Workplace - FOR YOUR COMMUNITY: Civility? “Polite, reasonable, and respectful behavior.” Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary... Simple awareness of self and attention to the needs, perspectives, feelings and values of others is likely to create a more civil workplace.
Take 5: Five Career Risks You Should Consider Taking - FOR YOUR FUTURE: If you have ideas about how to improve, streamline, simplify, save or raise money, expand inclusivity, create a happier client or culture, improve productivity and/or morale, or any other positivity generating “ideas”, pitch them (briefly but succinctly, and with passion) to your boss… and (if you get the green light) to your boss’s boss. This is a tried and true method for expanding your influence and reputation (and bringing light and joy to your workplace and clients). (Case in point: This learning platform got started with a simple pitch to the big boss.)
Take 5: Your Weekly Professional Development Resource was last modified: October 12th, 2016 by Tom