In spite of being these amazing social creatures, humans are terribly bad at understanding how a particular organization works and how to operate effectively as part of an  organization. So, this is about some practices that are most important for success within an organization both as an employee and as a leader.

The study of organizational behavior

The study of organizational behavior attempts to do to critically important things:

1. It helps us understand why people behave the way they do at work. This is not about why your officemate leaves rotting food on her desk for days or why your boss wears sunglasses around the office or why people talk to themselves on elevators. We’ve all seen our share of strange behavior at work.

This is about specific intentional behaviors that contribute to business success and business failure.  Why are some leaders so much more effective than others? Why are some teams so productive?

Why do people prefer to communicate with each other in very different ways? Why do some assignments and initiatives garner great enthusiasm while others meet apathy or even powerful resistance? These are the behavioral questions that the field of organizational behavior attempts to help us answer

2. Studying organizational behavior helps us discover what leaders and professionals can and should do to bring out the very best in the people that work in their organizations. In short then understanding organizational behavior is all about what I call creating people power.

We look at the science of human behavior and then using our findings we developed tools to help put people in the best position to succeed Organizational behavior can help a leader create competitive advantage with people and that’s a vital skill for organizational.

Always start with a self-analysis

What would you say are the most important factors governing your success in your career? A research group asked that same question over 6.000 professionals from all over the world and has received the following responses:

  • some professionals said that having strong decision-making skills was critical for their success;
  • some said it was essential to have a great work ethic and to be results driven;
  • some emphasize strong communication skills and the importance of networking.

But, the number one factor determining long-term career success the great majority gave us the exact same answer developing a strong performance track record of delivering desired results.  We intuitively know how important results are to our success even if it’s sometimes very easy to lose sight of that amidst everything else that were doing and supposed to be doing is in it.

Avoiding distractions to function effectively

Part of the challenge of functioning effectively in an organization is that we can all get caught up in the mountain of minutia that permeates our jobs on an everyday basis. Strangely,  being busy is the most frequent distraction of all. Note that.

Whether it’s handling constant interruptions, attending long and often fruitless meetings, or answering a never-ending streams of emails, the modern workplace almost seems designed to distract us from the all important goal of delivering the results that our organization needs.

We need therefore to understand what all those distractions are doing to us before going to be able to put the focus back where it belongs. If you’re like most professionals in the 21st century you will probably find yourself find yourself in the really busy category.

Being busy, is the problem

2000 professionals were asked the following question: How does being too busy for an extended period of time impact you? And, the main findings on what happens when we are too busy were quite interesting

  • our ability to communicate breaks down in our listening skills diminish;
  • we tend to lose focus and attention to detail, and
  • problems that need our attention are left unresolved or we simply ignore them altogether,

As you can well imagine when were not communicating effectively were losing focus and ignoring critical problems relationships at both work and home can become strained and they can break down altogether.

I might be wrong but many of us have experienced this in your own lives, and as this too busy pattern continues our planning and organizational skills suffer.  We often completely loose sight of the long-term goals and big picture issues and we even begin neglecting our health.

When taken together all of these findings indicate that when were too busy we are less likely to engage in many of the key activities that will help us get desired results. Instead we tend to focus on things that are the most immediate of the things that are thrust on us by day-to-day circumstances things that just might distract us from doing the important work that delivers results.

So, what’s the solution?

So here’s the situation in a nutshell: getting results is the key to career success and survival, busyness is part of the landscape of the workplace in the 21st century, we can all report on being too busy at any given moment in time and busyness can damage our ability to focus our time and talent on doing the things that lead to getting desired results.

When things in the workplace become increasingly pressurized, fast-paced and turbulent, it’s only logical to respond by trying to do the same work that we’ve been doing only more quickly or to develop more sophisticated and complex solutions to the logistical challenge that the issue. Yet real life and some research suggests that you’ll be more successful by doing the exact opposite.

In fact when things in the workplace get crazy it’s imperative that you and I slow down and exercise self leadership and leadership of others with greater precision passion patience and persistence. In times like these we and the people we work with need clear direction and purpose meaningful information performance feedback teamwork effective problem-solving and some assurance that things are going to be okay.

STOP – sit, think, organize, and then perform

This formula is based on decades of research on the practices of high-performing business professionals and it provides a concrete solution to the formidable challenge of busyness:

  • stop is the process of slowing down and becoming more intentional and more mindful in the way you approach your work and your life,
  • sit quietly someplace we won’t be disturbed and think about what you really need to accomplish as opposed to everything else that you’re supposed to do that maybe potentially less important,
  • organize yourself the place top priority on the results that really matter, and then
  • perform based on the priorities that you’ve established checking the results to make sure that you meeting your goals.

The stop process is all about thinking through what you’re really trying to accomplish and developing an effective action plan to get things done by controlling the things that you can control.

The idea is to make a periodic appointment with yourself to conduct what I call a strategic stop a pause that puts you back in charge of your schedule and the process is very straightforward.

When you conduct a strategic STOP you are in effect doing strategic planning for yourself to determine the results you need to achieve in the process that you will use to be successful.

The STOP Method

The above method is just as worthwhile to use if you love your job is if you’re miserable and hate your boss because either situation can lead to bad results if you don’t exercise good self leadership and truly understand your position within your organization. So do yourself a huge favor and STOP (sit, think, organize, and then perform).

Take the time on a regular basis to figure out exactly what your boss really wants and needs from you and how to use your time in the best way to produce those results. What makes the STOP method especially valuable is that it’s straightforward, it doesn’t involve complex algorithms or data crunching and it’s realistic.

By spending just 25 minutes a day on doing that you can achieve wonders and keep in mind the 25 minutes out of a nine hour workday is only 4.62% of that day Research shows that by investing less than 5% of your workday in the STOP process you can improve your performance by anywhere from 12% to well over 30% which is a pretty good return on your investment.

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