Retraining Thinking

Postby LeeMills77 » Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:38 am

Hi all,

I'm posting this because I'm unable to find anything online about this topic.

My aim is to retrain the way I think about my job. Currently, it's like I'm passive and weak when it comes to taking actions and being thorough. However, this is causing all kinds of problems for me.

I work with a Manager and I do similar work to him and I'll be working on an account and he'll come along and ask how I'm getting along and he'll suddenly ask questions I hadn't thought of and he can resolve issues quickly. I seem to miss all of this. To give you some examples:

I've been contacting a client by email; he asked why I hadn't phoned? Yes, why didn't I?

Another account I've worked on - they weren't completing work I have sent over; he asked if I had told them or escalated it? No, again I had not.

I can provide many more examples of this.

Overall, my work is good but it falls short of where I want to be. My question is - can I retrain how I think about the above issues and be decisive and thorough and have it where I've covered the issues my manager will also cover?

The only thing I can do is write out the entire episode and list all the potential actions I can take so next time, I have a kind of 'mental script' to refer to. Also, it seems to help if I see myself as a Manager and somebody came to me with those issues, I know exactly what to do. Yet when I think of myself doing it, I become passive and weak.

Any ideas?

Thanks all,

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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:06 pm

LeeMills77 wrote: Yet when I think of myself doing it, I become passive and weak.

Any ideas?

Yep. Two ideas/thoughts:

-1- Stop thinking that because you don't know the answer or have not thought of a particular solution or strategy that this is somehow passive or weak. This puts you on the defensive. It sets you up for failure and keeps you from learning. The manager didn't just magically create the solutions/strategies from thin air. They have encountered similar issues in the past which allowed them to easily generate an alternative.

-2- Actively gain experience. Stop being passive. How do you think a veteran firefighter knows what to do compared to a novice? They both have the same equipment and training, but the veteran has a lot more experience. The veteran has been exposed to a wider range of calls, with more complexity. This allows the veteran to generate options that the novice can't see. The only way the novice can catch up is by gaining experience and this isn't easy. The novice can't just go around creating emergencies as to catch up to the veteran.

It's easier for someone that wants to learn chess, because you can play as many games as you like. There is no requirement for an emergency to take place. You start off a novice, but can quickly gain experience as you play more games. As your skill increases you play against tougher opponents and a broader range of opponents. This allows the more experienced chess player to quickly recognize solutions that novices can't see.

In your line of work you are probably somewhere between the firefighter and chess player. You have accounts to manage and there are a variety of potential problems that might develop. As you gain experience, you will learn more strategies and solutions to deal with a wide variety. The question is how do you in effect force these problems so that you can gain experience? The answer is in your mindset. Stop being passive/weak, and seeing solutions as pointing out some failure on your part. Instead, talk to coworkers, talk to managers, listen to the stories they tell about the problems they encounter and how they resolve the issues. Expose yourself, to the extent that you can, to a wider range of accounts/experiences.
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Postby LeeMills77 » Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:36 am

Hi Richard,

Yeah, some good suggestions there. Thanks for the reply.

Thanks again,

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Postby romanrusso » Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:07 pm

I read somewhere that you can look at your work as either: job, career, or calling. Of course, if you call it "calling" you will be way more engaged than if its just a "job" for you. As such, it may be an interesting and helpful exercise to see how you view your job and try to list benefits you bring to the table for all the parties (you, your manager, company, and customer).

Its okey if your manager sees more Matrix than you do. Just try to learn from him and see him as your mentor.

Lastly, try to read about your work or industry at least 30m per day. This will give you an unbelievable career boost.

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