Hints and Tips: Survive in the work place
SummaryHints and tips to survive in the work place
Get a head start
Ask for information to be sent in advance of your start day about the company, products and projects you’ll be working on.
What to wear
Plan what you're going to wear during the first week so you don’t have to think about it.
Plan your journey
Plan the journey you'll take and alternative routes in case of traffic problems or delays.
Once you’ve made it to your new workplace, take a deep breath, walk in with a smile and make gentle eye contact, be upbeat, polite and friendly to everyone you meet.
Use your Radar
The main weapon in the fight against office politics is good communication. The more everyone shares the same information, the more difficult it is to play politics with it.
Be good at your job
People play politics because they think it’s a way of getting ahead. People who clearly have talent and work hard don’t need to be political to get ahead.
Get on with your boss
Think what you like about your boss but never express it orally or in writing - you’re just giving guerrillas bullets to fire back at you. Extend this advice to everyone by criticising ideas not people.
The bigger picture
Office politics is based on ‘I win, you lose.’ Approach your work with a win-win mentality and you’ll gain everyone’s trust. If you lose a round along the way - get over it.
When listening to other people you’re not focusing on yourself. No amount of talking will make up for not listening.
Be generous with your knowledge
Everyone in business knows something that is useful to someone else. Use your knowledge to help others and you’ll feel better about yourself.
Manage your ego
If you want respect, earn it by respecting others, not by lording it over them. If you’re a senior manager you should be able to manage yourself better, not worse, than others.
Take time to be polite
Saying ‘excuse me’, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are essential lubricants of interaction between human beings and shorthand for showing respect for others.
Tell people exactly what is expected of them
Agreeing expectation is critical at the start of any project. Ensure people are clear about where they are going and what they are doing.
Give them a challenge
People are motivated by challenge but no one wants to struggle without achievement on the horizon. Set targets that are stretched but attainable.
Keeping people motivated is about treating them decently - as you’d like to be treated. Find out what gives job satisfaction for each person and a way to help them find it.
Share the rewardsThe most important aspects of a reward are recognition and fair play. Praise and share out conference attendance, training, travel - whatever the perks are deemed to be.
Do your job without bothering them
From a manager’s perspective, the ideal person to manage is someone who doesn’t need it. So, take ownership of your own destiny but don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed.
Inform before, not afterwards
Get into the habit of regular informal communication with your manager to help them identify any potential problems before they escalate.
Ask for advice
People love giving advice and sharing thoughts. It makes them feel good about themselves. Go and ask something specific and then listen hard.
Offer solutions, not problems
In business, changes happen, issues arise and challenges rear their ugly heads. Brainstorm possible solutions to take solutions to your manager instead of problems.
Save time by talking through how you like to work at the outset. Ensure you find out the same about the way your PA works. Shared expectations = a good working relationship.
Surrender your diary. If you’re worried that surrender might result in stuff in your diary you don’t want there, you haven’t spent enough time on pre-nuptials.
Plan your crises
Lack of planning on your side shouldn’t result in emergencies for your PA. Keep your PA aware of what’s happening in your business life so they can see crises coming.
A PA is not your slave
Show flexibility with timing when they need it and you’ll get it returned when you need it. PA’s are not personal valets, shoppers or confidantes.
To see a full list of Elaine Ford's features follow the link below to her first article and scroll to the end:
Hints and Tips: Thinking of Changing Job?