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MY BOSS SAYS I’M A STARTER, NOT A FIN­ISHER!

Q I’m well ed­u­cated and cur­rently work for a large cor­po­rate. Re­cently, dur­ing my ap­praisal, my man­ager sug­gested that al­though he thought I had some very cre­ative ideas, he was dis­ap­pointed by the fact that I am a starter not a fin­isher. It came as a shock to me. How can I change this?

AI’m sure we all en­counter this but­ter­fly be­hav­iour from time to time, but it has clearly shocked you that your man­ager has raised it as an is­sue. What is re­fresh­ing about what you say is that you have, af­ter giv­ing it some thought, ac­cepted the crit­i­cism as con­struc­tive and want to do some­thing about it. I sense you want to move up the cor­po­rate lad­der and you’re am­bi­tious. Do­ing some­thing about this now could re­ally make a dif­fer­ence to your ca­reer and will also show that you can step up when you know you need to. DR IKRA­MUL­LAH AL NASIR

There may be a cou­ple of rea­sons why you be­have like this. Firstly, you men­tion your boss de­scribed you as a cre­ative. This qual­ity is highly prized by companies, but it can come with a lack of struc­ture. Per­haps your ideas come tum­bling out and you have so many of them that you don’t know where to start.

Some peo­ple ac­tu­ally thrive on that buzz of ini­tial ideas – they are nat­u­ral starters – but get bored to see a project through. On the flip side, some peo­ple find com­ing up with ini­tial ideas dif­fi­cult, but love the day-to-day rou­tine and have the stay­ing power to see a project through to the end. They are nat­u­ral fin­ish­ers.

You could iden­tify a fin­isher who works in the same depart­ment as you and work with them more fre­quently. You could even sug­gest this to your man­ager as a so­lu­tion that would be ben­e­fi­cial to all con­cerned.

In my line of work, I meet many starters, of­ten peo­ple who’ve started a fad diet, but find it hard to stay the course. Their ini­tial en­thu­si­asm wanes as they find the re­stric­tion too hard to bear over time. This is be­cause they need to change the way they think be­fore they change the way they be­have.

Al­though the con­text is dif­fer­ent, you are pretty much in the same sit­u­a­tion. One of the ar­eas I fo­cus on with them is re­al­is­tic goal-set­ting and step­ping­stone achieve­ment. You could do this too. Once you come up with the idea for a new project, iden­tify the goal, and break it down into a se­ries of mini-goals that need to be achieved to get there.

Then, dig even deeper and break them down into three achiev­able steps. Each day, write down a re­al­is­tic list of the things you need to do, fo­cus­ing on the pri­or­ity first and then tick them off as you go. This way you keep your­self on track and mo­ti­vated.

This is all about work­ing smart and mak­ing sure you’ve forged a clear achieve­ment path to fol­low. Try these sim­ple strate­gies and I’m sure your man­ager will be im­pressed with your new, ef­fi­cient start-to-fin­ish ap­proach.

is a lead­ing spe­cial­ist der­ma­tol­o­gist based in Dubai 72

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