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Skills & Personal Development

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How to Handle Constructive Criticism in the Workplace
Collaboration 5 min read

How to Handle Constructive Criticism in the Workplace

Knowing how to take constructive criticism from clients and employees is crucial for managers. Read some best practices for receiving constructive criticism.

How To Handle Return to Work Anxiety
Remote Working 5 min read

How To Handle Return to Work Anxiety

After a year of non-stop Zoom meetings, virtual team building, and four-legged office companions, returning to an in-person work location will undoubtedly take some getting used to. Back to work anxiety is a reality for many as increased global vaccination efforts make in-person office attendance a possibility once more.  From health and safety concerns to an uptick in those reporting symptoms of social anxiety, workers are citing many reasons for their return to office apprehension. Heading back to crowded commutes and group interactions will represent a significant shift in how many have lived and worked over the last year. The comforting news is that return to work anxiety is normal, and there are many ways to manage and overcome worries about heading back to the office. How to recognize return to work anxiety While some companies are embracing a “work from home forever” philosophy, other organizations have begun preparing their employees for a phased or hybrid return to the office. However, these conversations may spark dread or anxiety as return dates near.  Return to work anxiety may include: Apprehension about in-person, work-based socializing  Stress about returning to previous daily activities like commuting  Health concerns about COVID-19  Anxiety about meeting new colleagues after being onboarded remotely  Worries over feeling less productive once back in the office  Anxiety about spending less time with family and loved ones   It’s important to recognize that many are experiencing similar feelings and concerns. This is borne out by the numbers, which indicate there is a lot on workers’ minds during this transition period. Returning to work anxiety and apprehension by the numbers One Limeade Institute survey found that COVID exposure (77%), less flexibility (71%), and commuting to work (58%) were the top three reasons people said they were anxious about returning to the office. Work-life balance is also playing on the minds of workers, as is discomfort around in-person interactions. A Flexjobs survey found that 43% were worried about the impact returning to the office would have on their work-life balance One 2021 survey found that 49% of respondents said they felt “uneasy” about in-person interactions This apprehension is normal. After a year at home, pandemic-related health fears aren’t likely to disappear overnight. Similarly, the flexibility of remote work has allowed many to spend more time with their families instead of spending hours commuting to and from a physical office location.  8 tips for dealing with anxiety about going back to work Wondering how to handle the anxiety you’re feeling about heading back to the office? Here are some tips for getting through this transition period. Open up to colleagues and supervisors Chances are that you’re not alone in your worries. Be candid with colleagues and share experiences, tips, and coping techniques as you prepare to return to an office setting. Knowing that others are experiencing the same emotions can be a source of comfort and a reminder that you’re not alone. Ease yourself in and set clear boundariesIf you’re not ready to participate in work outings, trips, or other in-person social activities, that is perfectly okay. Don’t pressure yourself. Allow yourself some time and space to feel comfortable socializing with colleagues again. Pay attention to your office’s return to work plans and ask questionsKeep up-to-date with your organization’s return to work strategy. Make an effort to fully understand their expectations and speak to your company’s HR department if you have concerns, issues, or questions.  Ask for continued workplace flexibilityWorkplace flexibility is here to stay, and many companies realize this. If heading back to the office full-time is a source of anxiety, speak to your manager and HR team about adjusting your schedule, and the benefits of working from home for you specifically. This may look like a compressed workweek, hybrid office arrangement, or reduction to part-time hours.  Bring your healthy WFH habits with you, and don’t forget to decompressIf the thought of heading back to work raises your stress levels, be sure to take time out for a walk, mindful meditation, yoga break, or any other calming activity that helps you feel grounded instead of worried about the future.  Speak to a professional Any level of apprehension about returning to an office is understandable. A mental health professional can help you adjust to your next normal by teaching you stress management techniques and helping you to prioritize your wellness in this transition.  Find out what safety measures your workplace is enacting to keep employees safeKnowing what to expect as you head back to the office can help address concerns you have regarding your health and wellbeing. Get a sense of the policies your workplace intends to enforce regarding social distancing, mask-wearing, and other precautions. For the digitally onboarded, reconnect with your “buddy” or other new recruitsIn-person office attendance after virtual onboarding can be nerve-wracking. Reach out to your onboarding “buddy” to show you the lay of the land. Or, if you were both onboarded remotely, you can figure things out together. After a year away, returning to the office will impact everyone differently. Manage your return to work anxiety by remembering to set boundaries, stay up-to-date with your organization’s plans, prepare for what’s next, and seek help from a professional if you need it. Staying connected with hybrid or remote colleagues is easy with Wrike’s flexible work management software. Sign up for a free two-week trial and discover how simple it is to transition your day-to-day work from home to the office with one platform.

Unmasking Impostor Syndrome: 7 Ways to Boost Your Confidence at Work
Productivity 7 min read

Unmasking Impostor Syndrome: 7 Ways to Boost Your Confidence at Work

"You don't belong here."  "You're a fraud."  "It's only a matter of time before everyone realizes."  That is the voice of Impostor Syndrome. People with Impostor Syndrome often feel that their achievements aren't based on merit, but sheer luck. Thoughts like, "I have no idea what I'm doing," or, "The hiring manager made a mistake, I'm not qualified for this job," are common, in spite of all the evidence supporting their abilities and competency. Ironically, Impostor Syndrome is more common among highly intelligent, highly successful people.  Impostor Syndrome is not the same as self-doubt or lack of confidence. It’s an inability to  accurately assess your own abilities, especially in comparison with others. The result is, you box yourself in, limit yourself based on your own inaccurate self-assessment, and fail to live up to both your current abilities and full potential. You don’t even consider taking on certain projects or job opportunities because it never occurs to you that you’re capable. It keeps you from fully participating in discussions or volunteering your ideas because you think that if you do everyone will see you're out of your depth.  Not only are you holding yourself back, you're depriving others of your unique perspective and contributions. Successful teams and businesses need everyone running at 100%, not holding back due to feeling inadequate or self-conscious. Next time Impostor Syndrome starts whispering in your ear, use these 14 strategies to shut it up for good.  7 Effective Ways to Beat Impostor Syndrome 1. Know that you're not alone.  According to a study by the International Journal of Behavioral Science, 70% of us feel like impostors at work. That means almost 3/4 of the people around you also feel that they're not qualified when comparing themselves with you. It's easier to strip Impostor Syndrome of its power when you know everyone else feels exactly the same way, even those colleagues you admire most.  2. Recognize Impostor Syndrome for what it is. Acknowledge Impostor Syndrome as something that affects you, so you can start adjusting your attitude. Instead of thinking, "I haven't accomplished anything, and what I have done has just been luck," say to yourself, "I have a hard time recognizing my accomplishments and abilities." Stop thinking of yourself as incapable. Impostor Syndrome is simply an inability to internalize success, not an inability to achieve success.  3. Watch your self-talk.  Impostor Syndrome is rooted in your habits surrounding how you talk to yourself. Luckily, bad habits can be broken and good ones built in their place. The next time your inner voice starts undermining your abilities and accomplishments, get out of your head. Take 5 minutes to call a friend and say, "I'm fighting the sneaky hate spiral today — here's what happened."  Oftentimes saying what's going through your head out loud is enough to help you snap out of it, and if not, good friends can help us see through the haze of negativity.  4. Don't dismiss praise.  When someone says, "Great job!" don't shrug it off. Instead of responding, "Oh thanks, I got lucky," just say, "Thanks!" It's easier to accept and internalize your accomplishments when you stop brushing them off or explaining them away.  5. Act before you feel 100% ready.  Thinking about doing something without ever actually doing it is a large part of what makes you feel like a fraud, especially when surrounded by people you see as more authentic. So let go of perfectionism, just get started, and work on continually getting better from there.  6. Remember that being wrong isn't the same as being incompetent.  In addition to downplaying their achievements, people with Impostor Syndrome tend to fixate on failures. Everyone makes mistakes — even Hall of Fame athletes strike out, throw interceptions, and miss free throws. Perfection is not one of your job requirements! 7. Embrace lifelong learning.  There's a difference between feeling inadequate and recognizing opportunities for growth and improvement. We are all works-in-progress. If we can accept that and push ourselves to keep improving — while also recognizing how far we've come — we stop feeling like permanent frauds and start owning both our weak points and our accomplishments.  Quick Tips to Try Today Keep track of your wins.  Any time you get an email saying, "Nice work!" or your manager mentions the positive results of your efforts, write it down or archive it in a special folder. When the little voice in your head starts going on about how you’re a fraud and it’s only a matter of time before you’re found out, open that folder and remind yourself of how capable you actually are. Change your perspective of failure.  Remember that a large part of doing good work and being successful actually involves failing, trying something new, and failing again until you find something that works. One of the biggest advantages “experts” have is that they understand this and keep working at the problem, and they've accumulated more tricks to try from their past experience.  Encourage your teammates.  When a teammate helps you out or makes a valuable contribution to your work, tell them. Managers: don't save positive feedback for annual reviews or wrapping up big projects; make it a regular habit. Remind your team members that they're contributing in ways that matter and that you've noticed their results, and if you can, prove it by showing them numbers.  Boost your confidence through body language.  How you carry yourself isn't just about how others perceive you; it has a profound impact on how you view yourself. Just a few minutes of altering your posture can affect your brain chemistry and make you feel more confident and less likely to let those self-sabotaging thoughts creep in.  Keep learning and building on your strengths.  Recognizing what you're good at and adding new skills around those strengths gives you more confidence in the form of tangible certifications, as well as practical working knowledge that you'll be able to use in the workplace. And when that knowledge proves useful on the job, you'll see time and again that you do offer value to your team.  Pay attention to how other people handle setbacks.  No one's perfect, and even the colleagues you think highly of make mistakes from time to time. Watch how they approach these situations to remind yourself that everyone is still learning, no matter how much of an "expert" they are, and pick up new, more productive ways of responding to setbacks.  Ask for help.  Instead of constantly comparing yourself to colleagues, ask them for help and advice. If possible, find someone you admire to mentor you. You'll learn something new, build meaningful relationships, and get insights into how the other person grew and overcame their own self-doubt.  Fighting Impostor Syndrome How have you overcome Impostor Syndrome? Share your stories in the comments below and let's give each other some encouragement!

Key Soft Skills for Managers in a Post-COVID Office
Collaboration 10 min read

Key Soft Skills for Managers in a Post-COVID Office

What are the most important soft skills for managers to offer their teams returning to work after COVID? Find what you need for your workplace to thrive here.

Project Management Skills Every Project Manager Needs
Project Management 7 min read

Project Management Skills Every Project Manager Needs

Good project management skills are crucial for leaders who take on multiple projects and work with teams to meet client expectations. Find out more about the skills needed for project management with Wrike.

6 Strategies for Dealing with a Toxic Work Environment
Productivity 5 min read

6 Strategies for Dealing with a Toxic Work Environment

Constantly chewing on Tums to get through a bad day at the office? Sounds like you may be dealing with a toxic work environment. All joking aside, negativity at work can have serious consequences for your health and personal life. If you think that you're dealing with a toxic environment, you need to come up with permanent solutions to make your office a better place to work. Ignoring the problem or telling yourself it will sort itself out eventually isn't good enough when your health is involved. Here are some tips to help you toss the Tums in the trash and turn your situation around: 1. Anticipate problems and solutions If you are regularly stressed at work, learn to predict what creates the problem. Is it that daily 1:00 PM meeting that always causes arguments? Is it working with a specific person? If you can anticipate stressful situations, then you can walk into them prepared to engage extra willpower in order to remain calm and collected. 2. Talk it out If there is an identifiable problem, create a constructive environment with someone who can help remedy the situation. Micromanaging boss? Underperforming teammate? Set up a meeting to exchange feedback. To make sure it doesn't feel like a one-sided attack, share what you think is working well, what you think could be improved, and allow them to do the same for your performance. Since you expect them to take your feedback seriously, take theirs seriously too. And pick your battles carefully — not everyone will be open to your mature conversation. 3. Don't complain in the office Fruitlessly venting can put you in one of a few situations: (1) your boss overhears you complaining, (2) your team thinks you're whining or dislike your negative attitude, which makes it harder to work together, or (3) your coworkers also start engaging in the negativity, which just feeds the toxicity of your environment. When you're in the office, the best thing you can do is to remain positive in the face of hardship. If your coworkers are the ones who start complaining, try not to engage. Put on headphones or take a well-timed bathroom break. 4. Find an outside support system Finding that "talking it out" is too difficult, either due to the person you're having a problem with or your own shyness? That's fine. Always closing your eyes to prevent yourself from rolling them while you're in the office? We can't always help it. If you're boiling in the negativity, release your emotions outside of the office. Confide in your patient spouse, a friend and a glass of wine, your dog, a counselor, or your diary. Finding a supportive outlet for your frustration — not someone you work with — will help you tame the itch to lash out at your toxic colleague(s). 5. Learn to let it go You can't control other people, their actions, or the outcome of a dinner with multiple cooks in the kitchen. When things go awry, learn to take a deep breath, tell yourself that things could be worse, and help yourself move on. Holding onto negative thoughts builds up in your brain and can make a bad situation feel much, much worse. Remember to let go of the negativity, and you might realize your environment is not as toxic as you thought. 6. Make sure you're not the problem This is a hard one to confront. Before you throw up your hands and quit your job, make sure that you aren't the main source of toxins at work — or the negativity could follow you forever. A good way to do this is to ask your boss or a trusted colleague for specific feedback on ways to improve your performance. If they seem to think that you have significant room to improve, it might be time to reflect on how you can improve your work demeanor. Is it time to move on? Not every job is a perfect fit, so if you have already tried our tips above and nothing is working, it's time to move on. Learn what you can from your current company and go find a job that makes you feel healthy again. Make sure to let your contacts (outside of your current company, of course) know that you are on the market, update your LinkedIn profile, and start searching for an escape. Ever worked in a toxic work environment? What did you do to improve the situation? Share your wisdom in the comments and help out everyone who is struggling right now. Related Reads: How to Communicate Like Super Bowl Champions Team Conflict & Resolution: The 2-Minute Guide 4 Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Stakeholders Top image credit: Nicolas Raymond on Freepik. Changes made. Some rights reserved.

How to Walk the Tightrope Between Consistency and Growth
Leadership 10 min read

How to Walk the Tightrope Between Consistency and Growth

Moving fast, being scrappy, and innovating are keys to growth and success for most companies. Ironically though, as that success is achieved, agility and innovation are often neglected for the sake of consistency.

Digital Marketing Skills You Need To Succeed
Marketing 10 min read

Digital Marketing Skills You Need To Succeed

Honing your digital marketing skills is the key to campaign success. Here are 10 of the most valuable marketing skills, from analytics to social media and beyond.

Contrasting Characters: A Guide to Managing Different Personality Types on Your Team
Leadership 10 min read

Contrasting Characters: A Guide to Managing Different Personality Types on Your Team

How can you successfully manage all the different personalities in your team —ideally with as little crying, complaining, and frustration as possible? Here are six strategies that will give you everything you need to know for cohesive collaboration.

The Foundation of Good Choices: Measure Thrice and Cut Once
Project Management 3 min read

The Foundation of Good Choices: Measure Thrice and Cut Once

. How do you know that the option you’re going to choose is the best one? In such big decisions, you can’t rely on flipping a coin. Here is a well-known solution valued by millions of decision-makers: Compare different alternatives. Even if you have a favorite variant, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at other options just to confirm your decision. So for your convenience, we’ve prepared a list of Wrike’s competitors with a feature-by-feature comparison table. Take a look and make your choice: Wrike vs. LiquidPlanner Wrike vs. Huddle Wrike vs. 5pm Wrike vs. Clarizen Wrike vs. Central Desktop Wrike vs. Zoho Projects Wrike vs. Basecamp Wrike vs. Attask

10 Skills Required for Great Digital Marketers (Infographic)
Marketing 3 min read

10 Skills Required for Great Digital Marketers (Infographic)

"Great men are not born great, they grow great." —Mario Puzo, The Godfather Being a great digital marketer is partially intuition and the ability to speak the language of your audience; but a larger part is continually studying and learning new skills to make sure your marketing team is evolving at an equal pace with the ever-changing digital world. Below are 10 skills you need today to go above and beyond in digital marketing. Take a look, and see what you can improve. Follow a project management methodology Understand SEO best practices Communicate with technical staff and upper management Be able to create or provide direction on creating a digital marketing strategy Understand email marketing best practices Manage your marketing staff and the costs incurred to provide the best outcomes Evaluate your social media options Be able to continually provide business justification of your projects Understand Google Analytics to interpret and communicate data, metrics and marketing analytics Know and drive the entire team toward your project goals Source: Premium IT Solutions   What else does it take to be great at digital marketing? If you've worked with great marketers, or you've honed your own skills year after year, share your wisdom in the comments. What does a great digital marketer need these days?

How To Deal With Workplace Anxiety
Collaboration 7 min read

How To Deal With Workplace Anxiety

Workplace anxiety can negatively impact your performance and wellbeing. Here’s how to recognize the signs of job-related stress and deal with anxiety at work.

Why Emotional Intelligence Matters in the Workplace (Infographic)
Leadership 10 min read

Why Emotional Intelligence Matters in the Workplace (Infographic)

Strong emotional intelligence in the workplace is essential for project and team success. Learn more about improving emotional intelligence as a leader.

How to Overcome Fear of Failure & Adopt a True Growth Mindset
Leadership 10 min read

How to Overcome Fear of Failure & Adopt a True Growth Mindset

Almost everyone battles a fear of failure. But by adopting a growth mindset, you can harness the power of failure to achieve success. Here's how.