As Americans, we are known to be plain-speaking and to the point, compared to many cultures. However, that doesn’t mean we are always effective in our communication. Times when our communication can be seen as “speaking in riddles” could include purposefully murky or innocently confusing. How to avoid misunderstandings.
Can specific habits be keeping you from the recognition you deserve? A promotion, raise, public relations attention, or more responsibility? You may be super organized, your ideas have solved a myriad of problems, and you’ve saved or made the business many dollars. These wonderful results may not be what people are paying attention to. It may be something completely different.
Conflicts and disagreements were quick to happen with some younger professionals I’ve worked with, not through their wanting to be rude, but in their attempts to jump to connect dots. They wanted to move quickly; on to the next thing and press ahead. In doing that, however, they weren’t realizing they were missing full conversations with people. Instead of waiting, listening and asking questions, they were making assumptions around a conversation. Wanting things to move quickly, they were cutting people off from fully expressing their views. A satisfying conversation never actually happened then. How we worked through this? And, a tip from Tom Hanks.
When asked, most people want to raise their profile in their company. They want to be noticed, rewarded and appreciated. If you truly want to be recognized with a promotion or award, making your clients happy is not enough. Developing connections with colleagues, senior executives and your boss is what brings about the recognition. Here are some tips for in person communication. (This is the last of three blogs about managing up for young leadership.)
How do you get ahead in your job? Managing down and managing up. Many professionals have said that working with their team is often fairly straightforward and rewarding. It’s the managing of their boss and other senior executives, that is more challenging. For more junior staff, the guidelines for managing up can be even more slippery and the concept completely new. How do you earn the trust of your boss and become valuable to them so you receive the rewards you treasure?
If you want to establish a great working relationship with your boss, knowing whatever you can do to make your boss’s job easier is good. Being a young professional, Millennial or Gen Z, guidelines to do this may not be so obvious. Here is the first of three blog posts on how to manage up. This first one focuses on laying the ground work for good communication.
Working with people from different backgrounds, histories, experiences and ages, I promote communication, conversation and connection. When I hear, “those Millennials” or “Okay, Boomer”, I cringe recognizing them as the biases they are: ageism. Whether ageism is used as a bias in rewarding/punishing or communicating, it’s not helpful to anybody and only creates friction, more bad behavior and animosity within your team and your organization. There is no us versus them, there is only us.
When differentiators are obvious to people, they focus on what makes the other people different rather than what makes them similar. It happens with races, cultures, generations, sexes. Those differences in recent times are criticized. What about if they were celebrated? What if those differences were actually talents? Seasoned people have experience and wisdom. Young professionals have a long list of skills.
There’s a lot of shaming about young professionals. You can think it is coming from their Baby Boomer or Gen X bosses who have a lot more life and work experience. That would be the obvious choice. They are not the only ones, however. People born in the Millennial years undervalue themselves and their colleagues just as much as senior professionals. Why? How do you stop this from continuing?
In a team sport, the adrenaline flows fast and easy because there’s a shared natural purpose to want to win. Faced with a survival type of situation whether real or fabricated like in scouts, outward bound, etc. everyone wants to get out of a tough unfamiliar environment. Grouped together in a “Escape Room” people strive to solve the puzzle and escape. Work or volunteer situations, the natural motivation for a closely knit group is not as obvious. Is it realistic to expect group members at work or with unpaid work to be enthusiastic and want to work together?