Think Like a Martial Artist in Your Workplace

SparringEven though you may or may not be a martial artist, the following lessons learned from the ancient martial art can boost your career in your workplace.

Cultivate Your Reputation

Martial artists put a lot of effort into earning their peers’ respect.  Pay attention to your reputation in the workplace.  If you are respected in other areas of your organization, your boss is more likely to value you in the office.

Create Space by Redirecting

When an opponent’s offense threatens to overwhelm you in the sparring ring, you can gain control of the situation by turning his/her energy back.  The same is true on the job.  If your boss expects you to take on more work than you can handle, do a counter-attack by asking your boss about the work priorities.  For example, “Boss, the new project sounds good.  But, which of the five projects that I’m currently working on should I set aside to make room for the new request that you just asked me to take on?”

Accept that Energy Moves in Both Directions

Martial Arts focuses on give and take between opponents.  That is important in the workplace as well.  But how often do you give your boss feedback?  We don’t always think about communicating upward.  If it is done respectfully, it can replace a one-sided relationship with reciprocity.

Respect Thyself

People, whether they are sparring with us or supervising us, tend to follow our lead when deciding how to treat us.  Realizing the value of what you do and who you are is an empowering first step toward setting healthy boundaries in the workplace.

Learn to Say “No”

It is important to practice small skills like saying “no” or asking for a little more time or space when you need it.  This builds your confidence and teaches people around you that you understand boundaries and how to negotiate them.

Published in: on July 3, 2013 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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