A key element of being valued as a manager is to value your self. Past posts in this series have focused on finding an organization that values your unique strengths and assessing to what degree your organization values you. Today, the focus is within.
Your self – confidence and belief in yourself will go far in encouraging others’ confidence in you. With self – confidence comes appreciation of your own abilities and what you have to offer to your team and organization. No one is perfect – self – confidence is not about that. Self – confidence can thrive, even while you accept failure and acknowledge there is room for improvement.
How confident are you? Do you look to others for approval? Do you judge yourself too harshly? Do you feel timid or unsure? Putting some focus on developing self – confidence and affirming your own value will go far in assuring your organization values you as a manager.
photo: digitalart, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Both communication and collaboration get a lot of attention when you work in teams. What happens when you bring them together – is there a particular way to communicate within teams that enhances collaboration? The nature of communication within a team is inherently different from one-on-one communication.
What could be guidelines for collaborative communication within your team? First would be the acknowledgement, by all team members, that they each have a voice that matters. That is a value that will generate respect for, and support the dignity of, each individual. Another may be identifying the methods you will use to assure that what needs to be communicated will be – possibly through staff meetings, reports, written and oral communication. Focus is needed on how the team communicates – choice of words, body language, emotional intelligence, what is communicated to whom. Communication should reflect respect for the diversity of the team – taking that into consideration, as each team member communicates.
Collaboration is something that takes effort- communication within a collaboration deserves that effort as well. How is the collaboration communication within your team?
photo: Apple’s Eyes Studio, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
You are not at the mercy of consultants. As a manager, you may find yourself going beyond your immediate team and outside the organization to hire consultants. Having been on both sides, as client and as consultant, here are some of my insights on making consulting relationships work.
Consultants are a varied species. A first step in managing consultants is to set your preferences. Do you want a small or large firm? How much is cost a factor? What working style must the consultant have to add value to your work? It is often a challenge to get through the marketing hype – not doing so, however, can be fatal. Get a set of questions ready that zero in on what you want. Always check references, beyond an initial screen.
When a consultant comes on board, clarity, articulating expectations and setting performance measures are essential to successful teaming. This is an area where some consultants “dance’. They have their own ideas of what they want to do and consider their value as knowing more that you. Not true. They are as much a member of your team as your in-house team and you need them to collaborate.
Another important factor, from the consulting side of the relationship, is to be treated with respect. Too often (although at times justified), consultants are maligned. If disrespect develops in your relationship, the consultant should not be there. They are not providing what you need. However, if your consultant is being grouped, disrespectfully, in a negative category, that is not fair. Consultants are a varied species and each relationship is one-on-one.
In my article, ORGANIC CONSULTING:
A Way To Give Your Clients Maximum Value, I offer one perspective on how consultants and their clients can maximize the value of a consultant’s work.
Following up on my last post Are You Valued As A Manager?, here are some questions to get you started in assessing whether you are valued as a manager.
In Your Organization:
• Are you respected by upper management?
• Does upper management support you when you are dealing with issues with your team?
• Do you have the resources you need to do your work? Or, if not, are the reasons clear and you are supported accordingly?
• Are your role and performance measures clearly defined?
• Do you receive positive feedback for your work (recognition and financial reward)?
• Do you feel positively challenged or constricted in your work?
• Do you see your job as a good fit with your skills and talents?
• Are you proud of your work and accomplishments?
• Are your best traits recognized by upper management?
• Are you doing what you love?
All managers have value. The trick is to find the place that values your strengths and talents where you can thrive. What are signs that your value is recognized in your organization? Here are some: you are treated with respect by upper management, you are listened to, to the best extent possible your needs and those of your team are met, you are communicated with and have the information you need to manage well. On your end, you feel you are on your game, you see that you are a “fit” with your organization, you are doing what you want to be doing as a manager.
You each have your own unique gifts. Sometimes, those gifts are not realized because you are not in an environment that values them. The so-called hero’s journey is about finding your unique gifts and bringing them to the world. There are many factors involved. You may be a good fit for your organization’s mission, but cultural dysfunction, lack of resources or some other factor negatively influences your performance. You may not be a good fit for your organization. Your path may have formed by accident-you just went with what happened, without a focus on the best fit for you.
What has been is not relevant now. What is relevant is to take charge of your career and actively pursue a fit that will allow your unique gifts to shine. In my next post, I will give you some questions that can be helpful in assessing if you are valued as a manager and are bringing your unique gifts to the world.
Much too often, I hear from managers that they are in an organization that is working them to death and, at the same time, communicating that they are dispensable. There’s a major disjoint in this. An organization is asking more of a manager, often way beyond reason, and at the same time is refusing to recognize the extra (and often extraordinary) contributions the manager is making. The dispensability message may be subtle, but is heard clearly by managers and employees. No additional income, no recognition, “bottom line” justifications, more time, less resources, we can find someone else if you cannot do it – a recipe for burnout and frustration. The tactic is weighted significantly in the favor of the organization, at the expense of their employees. Something is radically wrong here.
Are you in a situation like this? Best to evaluate the toll it is taking on you and what your options are. Save yourself. There may be no one else watching out for you. Be confident of your value, set boundaries and don’t let anyone run you into the ground. You are worthy of more than this.