Ready to move forward? From being your own best advocate to avoiding the tricky situations brought on by blurred boundaries, we’re sharing 5 ways speed up your success in a new position or one you have been in for years.
1 | Set the tone on the first meeting
We have all heard that it is up to us to teach people how to treat us, but it is equally important to let people know what we won’t accept. Too often we enter relationships too casually which is a dangerous move when we don’t know the specifics of the other person’s boundary scale. This is one of the main the reasons managers find themselves frustrated with team members who are too informal, team members become resentful of managers who don’t respect their personal time and colleagues end up in passive-aggressive email exchanges. If you have found the boundaries in your professional life could use some tightening, commit to showcasing the traits you expect to receive from others in every exchange. From summarising objectives and clearly identifying expectations to exuding the respect, transparency, and clarity you now demand in return, level up if you want others to follow. The more you do this, the less likely it is that you will find yourself in the uncomfortable and stressful situation of trying to re-establish boundaries down the line.
2 | Highlight Your Wins
Whether you’re looking to be promoted within your current company, acquire new clients or get out from under the shadow of a manipulative boss, it’s important to showcase your strengths and announce your wins in a way that highlights your the value you bring, your dedication to excellence and your leadership skills. Frequent updates sharing concrete data and metrics along with appropriate shout outs are a great way to highlight wins without looking like a gloating show off. Giving credit to colleagues shows that you’re an emotionally intelligent leader. An added bonus? Celebrating small wins and acknowledging others is proven morale boost.
3 | Stay solution-focused
Every office has challenges, but complaining by the water cooler every 15 minutes does nothing more than add to the noise. Do a self-assessment and find out where you stand on a scale of 1 to productive. Write down very issue you faced in the past 7 days in one column and how you dealt with it in another. Did you pick up the phone to address the miscommunication with a passive-aggressive colleague or just moan about it to your work bestie? Did you sit there and seethe when a designer went rogue (again) or did you call a meeting to go over the brief to ensure there would be no more delays? The more you identify how proactive you are with addressing problems (when they arise), the more you’ll recognize opportunities to polish up your productivity. And don’t just sit there stressing at your desk when you hit a bump. Pulling in trusted team members and friends is a great way to find solutions fast. Think about it; we all have different skills, talents
4 | Slow down
I once worked for a business owner who was great at brainstorming and open to accepting ideas but had no concept of execution times. Notorious for her impatience, she didn’t grasp the reality that being first with a second-class product wasn’t going to make her successful and frantically working us into burnout to make arbitrary deadlines was just driving us away. Silly mistakes were made and we felt a collective frustration that our deliverables fell a good 50% below what they could have been had she allowed appropriate space and time to do proper research and deliver excellent work. Ultimately, we all got sick of the chaos and moved onto positions where we could be proud of the work we were doing and respected for it.
5 | Collaborate Carefully
Warren Buffet once warned that “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to lose it.” This is not only true when it comes to your own day-to-day actions but also those of anyone you vouch for. Think about it; what bigger show of support than to tie your name, livelihood and professional legacy to another person, product or brand? Think carefully about who you partner with and make sure that you share more than a desire to be successful. Do your due diligence to ensure that your values and vision are aligned before you agree on any collaboration.
Illustrations by the amazing Megan Hess.