Many people expect their boss and company culture will bring them along and help them integrate well into the inner workings of their new organization. Not so fast.
Ever have a REALLY bad day? Here's how to get up and get GOING.
Everyone has a manager/boss. Even if you are in business on your own, someone is out there plucking the puppet strings of your career. I work with a myriad of people who have incredible success and terrible issues with their manager. Some bosses are insane, some are saints, some are psychotic, and some are surprisingly normal.
One area I find where most people begin to see the cracks appear in their relationship concerns how they communicate with their manager.
Healthy, regular communication will always ameliorate any potential situation, ensure problems are addressed, and steps are taken in a reasonable amount of time.
Things go wrong when people forget two-way communication resembles a tug-of-war with a huge rope. When one side doesn’t communicate and pulls away, the other side needs to fill the void, take up the slack, and increase their communication.
So how do you do it? Here are some simple rules:
- Regular — schedule it on their calendar; meet with them (face to face) to discuss what’s happening.
- Short — make it a 10-15 minute meeting; the shorter, the better — focus on the tactical.
- Stick to business — cover what you’re working on and discuss next steps. Use an update sheet (1 page) to document what is discussed.
Here’s a great email/paper template I offer to my clients (Rule: Only 1 Page):
1. Accomplishments (from last week):
- Accomplishment 1 (keep each bullet point short)
- Accomplishment 2 (keep it less than 5-7 words)
- Accomplishment 3 (easy to scan)
2. Activities for this week:
- Project 1 (projects to be completed this week)
- Project 2
- Project 3
3. Long-Term Projects (in the near future):
- Project – Due Date (must have due dates)
- Project – Due Date
- Project – Due Date
4. Concerns & Issues:
- Issue 1 (talk about obstacles)
- Issue 2 (come with solutions)
- Issue 3
This template allows you to document your progress and ensure there are no crossed expectations about what you do and what your manager wants you to do. In addition, when you have 52 of these sheets in a binder, reviews go so much easier because you have a syllabus of accomplishments to choose from.
If you meet regularly with your manager (say weekly) for 10-15 minutes and use the recommended template, your relationship will strengthen and soar.
I've even suggested this template for attorneys to keep their clients up-to-date on their progress. It actually helps when their retainer runs out and the client asks 'what have you been doing?' — you now have a weekly documented process to bypass these uncomfortable conversations (and ultimately when you discount your fees because they're angry).
What do you use to update your manager/client on your progress?
“If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you’ll be fired with enthusiasm.” – Vince Lombardi The funny thing is, it happens ALL the time. And people wonder . . . ‘What Happened?’:
- I went to work every day.
- I was there on time.
- I did what they told me to do.
It’s all about PERCEPTION. I know I’m going to get a lot of flak for say it, but it really comes down to how your superiors, your clients, your colleagues, and your team perceive you.
You can be the hardest working individual. The smartest. The fastest. You might be the only one on the block who hits their numbers.
But when the chips are down, you are shown the door. Or the client cancels their contract.
Here’s a little secret: It’s how others perceive your ENTHUSIASM.
- Are you a cheerleader? Are you positive (and not negative)?
- Do you take on your responsibilities with gusto?
- Do you deliver them on time AND let others know about it?
- Do you BRAG?
- Do you ask for more work?
- Do you help your boss/client with their burning issues?
- Are you constantly thinking outside of the box?
It’s not only your enthusiasm that makes a difference, it’s how others feel, encounter, and experience your enthusiasm.
My son was told by his teacher one day to add more ‘pizazz’ to his class presentation. “Go outside of the box – make it memorable.” So he did — he thought of ways to make it more engaging and fun — and he got an ‘A’ on it. How can you add ‘pizazz’ to everything you do? (by the way – he now adds ‘pizazz’ to everything he does).
Take a second and think of the most enthusiastic people you know. You know — the one who hits their desk on Monday with a smile, dives right into their work, always has a positive thing to say about the company AND never gossips.
How is their career doing? Are they on the hot projects? Do they have a 'ton' of clients? Are they invited to the cool meetings? Are they asked out to lunch by upper management? Are they asked to speak at major functions?
They probably are.
Today’s homework: How can you add just a little bit of pizazz to your job today?
Every year, I go back and track my website analytics to uncover what articles really resonated with my readers. Here are my top ten for 2014 to get you ready for 2015!
Acknowledge and feel gratitude for all the special things in your life.
Last night, I was invited to attend a gala event at the prominent investment firm in NYC. Here are some key techniques that I used to make the night a fruitful and productive one.
Lately, I’ve been reading about the healthy aspects of standing desks and learned about all the attributes of standing: better posture, more active, easy to reach items, etc.
I grew up with Jack LaLanne. I used to watch him every morning on TV. Jack taught me a lot of things about life — especially to stay positive all the time.
Some Shiny Objects are good. Some are bad. Let’s talk about the BAD Shiny Objects.
Here are my top 30 hacks to make you a better leader.
10a. You’re Not Charging Enough For Your Services - Part One
10b. How To Charge More For Your Services. - Part Two
I received a huge response from readers who requested a number of techniques to help them raise their pricing. It became a two-part article. Enjoy!
If you truly want to change your life, career, or business this year. Check out my complimentary Test Drive.
Sometimes we feel trapped at work. Doing the same thing day after day. Handling the same issues, the same malcontents and ultimately getting nowhere. What can you do to move forward?
When I work with teams, I have them perform a lot of teamwork, but I also refocus them on a series of simple exercises to help them grow their position.
I call it Change-Grow-Help. Simply, take a step back and look at what you do all day and think about what three things you can do to make it bigger, better, and more engaging.
What's one thing can I change in my day-to-day work to make it more streamlined, more efficient and effective?
Why CHANGE? Because we get stale. We end up doing things that are easy, familiar, and comfortable. To move forward, we need to mix it up and see where we can make subtle modifications to do things faster and better.
Examples - Kill a meeting, come in a bit earlier, delete that weekly report no one reads, meet with your boss for 5 minutes every morning, streamline your email, etc.
What's one thing can I do to grow me as an individual who can offer more, perform better, and make more-informed positions?
Why GROW? Because we should be always growing. The attitude of 'I know all I need to know" is a 20th Century behavior. You're going to be left behind VERY QUICKLY. What books, resources, classes can I access to grow myself?
Examples - Take a class, read a book, listen to a podcast/audiobook, meet new people, network, join a club, check out Toastmasters or Dale Carnegie, or (hire a coach).
What's one thing can I do to help my team, the department, or organization? How can I branch out and make a difference?
Why HELP? If you don't step out of your little cubicle hovel and start making a difference in other parts of the company, you'll stay an unknown and ultimately be forgotten, laid off, or fired.
Examples - Join a committee, start an organization, hold a learning lunch, advertise to your team and visit a conference, start a blood drive, etc.
Image: Royalty-Free License from Dollar Photo Club 2014.
You're getting the feeling your relationship has soured with your boss. How do you repair it?
Stress is a normal part of the workplace — what really counts is how you react and deal with it.
Here are key quick tips I give to all of my clients prior to their first day on the job.
Our first Podcast - learn how to 'Bulletproof Your Career'!
An individual can't do their job effectively without being aware of what motivates them. A supervisor/manager should be cognizant of the fact that good performance is dependent not only on the abilities of team members, but also on how well team members are motivated to perform their tasks.
You are not opening yourself up to the universe of opportunity. Okay, I might sound a bit 'out there', but it's true. We all know the basic tenet of business is service. Whether it is a product, offering, communication, or something else, you need to connect with your clients and customers to deliver optimum service. That's a given.
You’ve probably worked for or with one sometime in your career. I’m not using this word lightly — I really mean psychopath — a person who exhibits a cluster of distinctive personality traits, the most significant of which is an utter lack of conscience. They also have huge egos, short tempers, and an appetite for excitement — a dangerous mix.
This is a tough post to write, but I usually have 2-3 clients a year who describe their boss with a certain set of characteristics. For me, it sets off a series of alarms and I help them decide to stay where they are or move on. Because at the end of the day, you cannot change a person’s behavioral makeup.
Five simple words. Three if you don't count the hyphens: Under-Promise And Over-Deliver. But time and time again, what do we do? Over-Promise And Under-Deliver. Which one makes our boss and clients happy? Why do we do this? Why do we constantly over-promise what we can do, bunch up our priorities, and then disappoint when we deliver late? And why do we do this again, and again, and again?
Commuting sucks. Anywhere you go, if you are on a parkway, highway, or thruway between 7-9 AM, you're probably swearing. You can blame it on anything — accidents, volume, weather — there will always be traffic congestion. You want to go 55, 65, 75 — but you're currently going 5. And the radio is just making it worse by intermixing the 15 minutes of commercials with a traffic helicopter telling you that there is traffic on YOUR route.
It's a cold world out there. One thing that always works for me is to share a positive, enthusiastic attitude. Whenever I feel down, or when things aren't going my way, I try to instantly turn that around with a smile, a fun comment, or a positive action. Most of the time it works and as I do it, it becomes infectious, and bounces right back to me. So . . .
Lately, a lot of people feel 'stuck' in their life. Why?- Because of their past decisions leading up to the present. - Because of the possibility of jumping into another terrible position. - Because of the economy.
In order to understand what your workplace is going to be like in five or 10 years, you need to think about what your work is going to be like. Here's a clue: employers no longer need to pay you to drive to a building to sit and type.