Category: Career Development
In this column, we share a lot of ideas and tips for building and moving forward in your career. But sometimes management can present obstacles to your success, whether it’s a personality difference, micromanagement, stifling a promotion, or undermining your hard work. Don’t simply live with the negative situation, or quit only to find another imperfect job in the future. Try the following tips to improve your relationship with your boss and empower your career.
Acknowledge Your Role
Rather than blame your boss for the obstacle you’re facing, put aside any emotional bias you may have (SHRM). Don’t gossip about your boss, and try to understand the situation more clearly (Tech Republic). Honestly evaluate your own role in the situation. Do you have unrealistic expectations of your boss? Do your professional skills measure up to the requirements of that promotion? Have you failed to earn the trust of your micromanaging boss? Have you really achieved all the goals of your current role? Do your work achievements reflect well on your boss and team? Think of this as your “HR root cause analysis.” Truly evaluate all the facts about your performance and relationships at work, then devise practical methods for improving these.
Communicate with Your Boss
In our “HR root cause analysis,” one of the corrective actions will almost always include talking with your boss. Difficult though it may be, coming to your boss in a professional manner is the right thing to do and will likely make a positive impression on him or her. When you do, come with a positive outlook with ideas for improvement. Don’t simply come with complaints and no attempts at a solution, which may only make your situation worse.
The best approach is to arrange a performance review meeting with your boss. Make it clear during this meeting that you want to grow professionally, and you’d like to find out what it will take to do so. Ask him or her how you’re meeting and not meeting the goals of your position, and brainstorm action steps to reach those goals. As you receive the criticism, take it with grace and not defensiveness.
If there’s something you need from your boss that you’re not receiving, simply ask for it in a logical manner (Chron) (SHRM). Make it an easy request to grant. For example, instead of simply complaining “You micromanage me too much,” ask if it would help your boss if you provided regular status updates to ease his or her mind.
Make it clear at this meeting that you are committed to your boss’ success as well (Chron).
Develop Your Professional Skills
After you’ve met with your boss, take this feedback to heart. If you’ve received concrete ways in which you can improve, make these your goals and stick to them. Exceed your boss’ expectations and you’ll likely gain his or her trust (Chron).
If your conversation does not go well, there are still options. Take your problem to HR, even if all you need is a second opinion on some aspects of the problem. It always helps to bring in a third party ro evaluate the situation.
If you need additional support, start by building your professional network by pursuing a mentoring and/or networking opportunity (Tech Republic). A mentor can provide a second opinion and unbiased advice on your career. This relationship just may provide the support you need to move forward in your career. Continue to build your network through events, LinkedIn, and pursuing one-on-one meetings with colleagues (Diversity MBA).
Prepare for a future job change and safeguard your interests by building a file that includes your updated resume, certifications, accomplishments, successful projects, and any awards you’ve earned (Diversity MBA). As you move forward within the company, or if you decide to seek advancement elsewhere, you’ll be ready to put your best foot forward.
A recent article in the The Washington Post listed some tips for getting caught up and I really liked it because the author pointed out:
“Rather than worrying about whether we have caught up, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy, we can try some of the following activities to restore ourselves and feel better about what we are accomplishing.”
Are we ever really caught up? Maybe it’s time to change the mindset to noticing what we are accomplishing instead of focusing on what we haven’t finished yet. It may be more motivating and more productive to think this way.
Feel better about what you are accomplishing and read 10 tips written by Joyce E. A. Russell here:
Rebekah Campbell, CEO of tech start-up Posse, does all her recruiting through LinkedIn, she says in her recent New York Times article. Why? LinkedIn’s new Recruiter service helps her search for the perfect candidates based on any and all aspects of an individual’s profile. This means your next prospective employer is looking for you based on elements like location, previous and current job titles, previous employers, university attended, current job length, and so much more.
With the knowledge that you could receive your next job offer through Linkedin, here are a few tips to make your presence even more dynamic on the platform.
- Write an extensive profile, using strong searchable terms. Ask yourself what you would type in to find someone like you and add those keywords, suggests Ted Prodromou, author of a book on using LinkedIn (NY Times).
- Add a professional-looking photo. This way, recruiters can pin a face to your name and you’ll be 11 times more likely to have your profile seen (Forbes).
- Update your headline, otherwise the default will be your job title. If you have a strong headline full of searchable keywords, your next employer will have an easier time finding you and you’ll stand out from the crowd (Forbes).
- Join interest groups (NY Times) – Search for terms related to your industry, and you can not only connect with like-minded individuals but with potential employers. Don’t know where to start? Join our TapRooT® Group – it’s chock full of fantastic root cause analysis professionals from around the globe. Join our network here.
- Join discussions (NY Times)- When you contribute to online discussions in a meaningful way, you build up others’ view of your expertise. In addition to learning and sharing your knowledge, you may meet an employer who’s impressed by your knowledge and wants to work together. Join our TapRooT® discussion group for conversations regarding current events and other investigation topics. Join a discussion here.
Don’t let your LinkedIn profile become a static online resume. Build it up with these foundational aspects, and make sure you check your account weekly to answer messages, engage in group discussion, and reply to any job opportunities that come your way!
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Imagine for a moment that we actually treated one another with such an unbiased respect and unconditional belief that we were able to elevate each other to be the best we can be. It’s not just a military slogan. It can and does happen. I’ve experienced this kind of respect, belief and positive reinforcement in my own life.
I’ve heard and witnessed many incredible stories of how people, given little chance to live or to walk again, overcame their physical and emotional injuries to lead positive, productive lives. They, in turn chose to “Pass the salt and make a difference in other people’s lives.” One particular story I read about recently, where a man who was barely able to read was given an assignment that required him to not only read, but to speak in public and exhibit leadership skills. (I know from personal experience that man’s greatest fear is NOT standing in front of a crowd and speaking. Man’s greatest fear IS walking (or crawling) through a wall of fire.) The man’s personal transformation was called miraculous. He was told that GOD inspired his assignment, and he took it quite seriously. He became an eloquent speaker and leader and that helped him to prosper in other areas of his life and provided a better life for his family. How can this be done you ask? Glad you did and here are some tips:
Release the prejudice. The first step is we must relieve ourselves of the limitations we place on others. Eradicate (I like the word) negativity about ours and others limitations from our mind and memory; erase the mental models and phrases like, “She’s only” or “He’s always” or “They never,” or “He can’t.” We need to stretch our mind and our imaginations and visualize, “see”, them doing something great or being something great. Change our thought patterns from the negative to think “Just because he (or she) never did that before doesn’t mean that he (or she) can’t. It just means that he (or she) has never tried before because no one really believed he (or she) could.”
“None can be more negative on its impact than the limitation on human resource capacity.” Said Musa
Forget the past. Car windshields are larger than the rear view mirror because it’s far more important to see the ‘highway’ ahead than the ‘road’ travelled. Look where you’re headed, not where you’ve been. Whatever mistakes you and others have made and wherever you and they have failed before, or the horrible way you or they have been treated, leave it go! Those issues are totally irrelevant for today. The past is the past. It’s over! Everyone has a story. Choose to change your mental models. ‘See’ yourself and them as winners, not whiners and treat yourself and others that way. It’s sequential, inside out, not outside in. You and then others. Get your own ‘house’ in order first.
“Life is divided into three terms-that which was, which is and will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present to live better in the future.” William Wordsworth
Remember your roots. We’ve developed and grown into the person we have become because someone, or in my case, many someone’s, believed in us. It was our parents, mentors, teachers, friends, God, all the above and many others. Along the way, there were (and are) people who believed in us and that belief helped us to believe in ourselves. When we stop, pause and reflect on where we began and where we are now and all those who’ve helped us and believed in us and then apply that same belief in others, the results can be (and are) amazing. Like all meaningful change, it has a beginning and middle but no end. It’s continuous.
“Believe in yourself and stop trying to convince others.” James De La Vega
Use words that encourage and inspire. Positive affirmations. A few examples like, “If I can, you can.” “You will succeed.” “You’re potential is endless.” “You’re more than capable.” “You’re smart and articulate.”
Assist them through the setbacks. I’ve discovered that few things in life have a trajectory that’s straight up. On the contrary, there are many issues from our choices that are often straight down. There are times when we ask, “What am I doing? Am I crazy for trying this? “What was I thinking?” “I should have asked for help?” Don’t let the negative thoughts get in the way. Bring them out. Talk about them with people you trust. Share your thoughts and then dismiss them. Vent! It’s healthy. Then continue with your encouragement and prayers. Caution: prayers work! Be careful for that which you pray. You might just receive it.
Encourage others to play it forward. Regardless of when and where I’m greeted by others, my reply is always, “I’m vertical, take nourishment and play it forward when God provides the opportunities.”
After a goal’s achieved, encourage others (and yourself) to establish and seek more goals and continue that pattern. I believe we have an obligation, or errand to help those around us; those who seek our help and are truly committed and enrolled in the process. What we don’t want to I do is become an enabler and weaken them emotionally, spiritually and physically. When we see others as better than they are or were and help them on their journey of self-realization and self-improvement it is one of the noblest things we can do for others. When they achieve success, it’s a win-win. Many, many others have done that for me and for you too, I suspect and often without us even knowing it. So…”Pass the salt and make a difference in all you choose to do. Make a person, place or thing a little better for your having been there.”
“Correction does much but encouragement does more.” Johan Wolfgang von Goethe
Becky Hammon was recently hired as the first female basketball coach in the National Basketball Association (NBA) by the San Antonio Spurs. She’s played professionally here in the U S and overseas for 17 years and begins her new position as an assistant coach next year.
In the Tuesday, August 12, 2014 edition of “USA Today Sports” an article written by Nancy Armour shares her exclusive interview with female basketball player Becky Hammon. “Even after all these years, Becky Hammon hears the voices in her ear,” she said. “The assistant coach at Colorado State University was constantly on Hammond telling her she was going to be the school’s first All-American. How she was going to do this. How she was going to do that,” she said. In the interview Becky Hammond said, “but when she started speaking all that, she started planting seeds. ’Yeah, maybe. Maybe I could do that if I worked really hard,’ Hammon said. “You have those people speaking really good things in your life and it grows and produces fruit later on,” she said. “But somebody had to initially plant those good seeds.”
”Hope and encouragement, especially hope, is probably one of the greatest things you can give another person,” Hammond said. “I mean, what a gift to allow that person to be able to dream, to be able to say, ‘Why not me?’ ‘Why couldn’t I be the first?’”
“Hope is the thing that perches in the soul-and sings the tunes without the words-and never stops at all.” Emily Dickinson
Life really IS like a roll of toilet paper. The closer to the end the faster it goes. When you leave this life, what will be your epitaph? What do you want others to say about you? How do you want to be remembered? When our time’s up, it’s up. No more make-ups or second chances. So…take time to be the person who others hear in their ears. Tell them how they’re going to do this and how they’re going to do that. Make the choice to become a planter of positive seeds then stand back and watch the ‘plant(s)’ grow. I know it works!!
Have you ever wondered what can make your work (and yourself) stand out from the crowd? Ever thought about what got your buddy that promotion, or how you can make the most of the position you’re in? Forbes.com shared 18 traits of exceptional employees on their blog this week, and we think these are great ways to amp up your professional game. Enjoy the first four traits below:
“1. They rewrite their internal monologues. A strong will to win knows how to push out the negative voices bantering back and forth inside one’s head and instead create a voice that challenges such negativity. In so doing, they answer their newly formed questions and turn the self-limiting “Why can’t I do [task]?” question into the exploratory “How can I do [task]?”
2. They have a healthy disregard for authority. Employees with a strong will to win consider the rulebook as more of a guide while still working within the confines of what’s “right.” In other words, exceptional employees know how to solve problems creatively while not breaking the rules.
3. They don’t wallow in regret. Exceptional employees feel good about their performance because they know they gave it their all. If a big fat “L” (for “Loser”) is the takeaway for the day, they will learn, adapt and move on.
4. They display grit. In my BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training) class we started with 174 students who wanted to be Navy SEALs, but only 32 of us truly desired it. Why? Because the latter group chose to enact the defining quality that bridges the gap between want and wish, purpose and passion. What I’m talking about is grit.”
Click here to read the rest of the article:
Job Opening: Strategy & Root Cause Analysis Manager – Global Financial Business – Leeds, West Yorkshire, UKAugust 14th, 2014 by Mark Paradies
Non-verbal communication (body language) is significant because it reveals how we feel (sometimes in spite of what we say), and it also reveals how other people feel about us. Most of us are not formally trained in non-verbal behaviors but living in the world has taught us many non-verbal cues informally.
For example, have you ever met someone and felt like you didn’t like them but couldn’t pinpoint why? They may have thrown off negative non-verbal cues that you picked up subconsciously, and that is why you stepped away from the experience feeling like you didn’t like the person. You probably know more than you think you do about non-verbal communication from both positive and negative life experiences, and putting the pieces together will help you become a better communicator.
At the Global TapRooT® Summit we’ve shared best practices for decoding non-verbal behavior which is particularly helpful in incident investigation interviews.
When interviewing others after an accident or incident, it’s very important to gain the interviewee’s confidence and trust to put them at ease and help them remember important details. Today I’d like to share three quick tips on how to improve non-verbal communication that will improve your interviews.
1. Lower your eyebrows. When we relax tension in our faces, the rest of the body follows in relaxation. Close your eyes right now and release the tension in the forehead and brows. Notice how the rest of your body becomes more relaxed. Practice this before your interviewee arrives and your relaxed body language will help your interviewee relax as well.
2. Palms up. When we talk we often gesture with our hands. Palms up sends a message that we have nothing to hide in our agenda, and also conveys that we are open to receiving what the interviewee says. Palms down indicates that we have closed our thinking – it may send a message of conviction – that your mind has been made up about what caused the accident.
3. Don’t overdo it on eye contact. Many people think that constant eye contact is important to communicate effectively, but it can be very intimidating for an interviewee. Make good eye contact but don’t stare. Make eye contact for shorter periods of time releasing your gaze occasionally.
If you want to learn more about effective non-verbal communication, mark your calendar to attend our new 2-day Interviewing and Basic Investigation course, June 1-2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada right before the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit.
Ever wondered what gets potential employers to do a double-take when they see your resume or CV? What gets them to set yours aside & call you for an interview? UK author and career coach Jeremy I’Anson shares his top 10 tips for getting your CV short-listed.
“Tip 1: Don’t be dull
Supercharge some of the statements on your CV by using the “So what?” test. Imagine you have an employer sitting next to you as you write your CV who asks “So what?” after every statement.
Look at these rather dull statements from actual CVs.
• Led a team of 20 sales staff
• Devised an incentive scheme
• Managed an office relocation project
Now transform those statements on your CV by adding a result to make those dull statements more interesting.
• Led a team of 20 sales staff… who exceeded all performance targets.
• Devised an incentive scheme… that reduced staff turnover by 20pc.
• Managed an office relocation project… with minimal disruption to the business…”