The Commonality In Diversity
We’re all different people, and in typical situations, we are given space to be exactly who we want to be. As soon as we put on a professional hat, however, our personality becomes part of our service. We have to watch our behaviour, the way we speak, and how we interact with our peers and colleagues. We are all in the same scheme of working hard for a shared goal or set of goals. If we rub people the wrong way, we can be detrimental to their ability to succeed. Helping people to be their best selves is how we get noticed and are given new opportunities. We have to rub them the right way as much as we can. A lot of us see ourselves at the top of the triangle with everyone around us below. We sometimes privately prioritise our feelings, our opinions, and our whims, then let other people fall into place behind us. A professional mindset has to turn this on its head. You are now in service and the element of taking care of number one (yourself) is in the action of being the best professional. It’s indirect and slow, you have to put your feelings to one side sometimes, but you enable the team to feel valued, cared for, and on fertile ground to grow.
It’s A Tight-Rope Walk, Keep Your Balance.
We all sometimes stumble, feel overworked, and overwhealmed with responsibility. Sometimes we can’t manage the situation, for a variety of reasons. Keeping balance is therefore an essential part of maintaining a professional personality. There are many jobs to do, many things you’ve planned, and most of it has to be done. The other side is the visionary element. You have the opportunity to search your imagination, the world outside, and the thoughts of your team for new and impressive concepts that can improve or expand what you do. Balance the new with the same old so that you’re never bogged down in tedium and you still manage to ensure the machine runs smoothly. You matter and so does everyone else. It’s good to use your network to help you and it’s vital you reciprocate. If you just take and never give you’ll be a drain on everyone’s battery. Making time for others and gladly helping them achieve their goals will make sure you are seen as useful in the team equation.
Recommended reading: Decisions Over Decimals: Striking the Balance between Intuition and Information
Be Your Own Person And Be A Friendly One
It’s okay to have different opinions and to see problems with what people are saying and doing. Your unique perspective and set of motivations are an asset to the team provided they’re used productively. We’ve seen TV episodes where managers lose their temper for our entertainment. If you think about what you’ve seen, there’s something more at stake than a job and a pay-cheque. These people know what they sign up for and are willing to be verbally abused on TV in order to gain the prize, the exposure, and the “as seen on TV” label that sells. We are not employed to do this, we want to make sure the team is well-oiled, at full efficiency, and happy. Be kind, and talk about the issue without making things personal or intense. Be cool about it.
Recommended reading: Friendly Leadership: Humanely Influencing Others
Listen Like A Loudspeaker
Take on board what other people say and amplify it so it can be heard. This isn’t the sarcastic way that you may have experienced at school where they read out your wrong answers to the giggling classroom while calling you derogatory names. Terrible teachers and good leaders have the opposite intention. Amplify good ideas, right thinking, useful insights, and perceptions of the problem that allow new ideas to form. Involve the team, and get them to feel listened to and appreciated by being a channel for their expression. Make time for others to have a full say on a subject, give others the space they need to fully express themselves so you can get the points they want to bring, and include them in the bigger scheme.
Recommended reading: Listening Pays: Achieve Significance through the Power of Listening
Keep It Real
We all get carried away and dream of a bigger picture than we can paint. Eyes bigger than our stomach, dream bigger than our hand, we have to limit ourselves to achievable goals. Asking the impossible is setting your team up for demoralisation and job dissatisfaction. This is when you can work to realise other people’s visions by listening to them and adopting their perspectives. Managing the possibility to achieve big things by incorporating the entire network is how to keep everyone glued together and willing to do their bit and ensure success. This also means that when you say something, you have to follow through on it. Your word is like your brand, and if people can’t trust you to follow up on your statements then your brand will suffer. How do we know this is quality service if we can’t trust what you say? Always do what you say you will do and talk people through your objectives at any time it’s needed. Make it clear you have a plan and are taking the steps as you get to them. This role model aspect is what will make you very attractive to have on board.
Recommended read: Keeping it Real: A book for business, a book for life