By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC
Sometimes it feels like you’re getting pulled in a million different directions at work. Your boss is demanding you get projects done on tight deadlines. Your team is coming to you with several problems that threaten to delay project completion.
Who do you focus on pleasing first? Is your boss or your team more important? The reality is, both opinions are equally important. But the good news is that you can manage everyone’s opinion of you by doing a few simple things.
Always Strive to do the Right Thing
When it comes to managing other people, you’ll earn respect when you try to do the right thing. Be considerate of everyone and don’t try to “pull one over” on someone. Both your team and your boss will appreciate that you don’t shrink away from your responsibilities, no matter how tough they might be.
Your team will have trust in you to act with integrity. Your boss will trust you to get things done. Through your actions they’ll know they can depend on you.
Own and Apologize for Your Mistakes
You’re a human, not a robot. It’s ok that you made a mistake, and both your boss and your team will appreciate your integrity in owning it. It takes maturity and confidence to acknowledge your errors and focus on correcting the mistake.
When managing a team, you set a positive example by admitting your errors. It makes you a relatable leader instead of a distant manager.
For your boss, they’ll appreciate your ability to focus on the solution. This ability to problem solve is invaluable.
Go Above and Beyond
Lead by example and make a habit of going above and beyond. This extra effort shows that you care about your job and your team. Those below you will follow your example, which will make your team perform better.
Your boss will appreciate the extra effort you and your team put in. This higher level of performance will translate to a positive reputation for your team, you, and your boss.
No one wants to listen to someone who continually complains about situations that make them unhappy. Your boss and your team will eventually tune you out. It also gives you the reputation of focusing on the problems and not on the solutions.
Instead of complaining to your boss, bring them solutions to the problems. Your boss will begin to turn to you when they have issues they need resolving.
Complaining to your team creates a toxic environment. This will paint you as a negative manager. Instead, empower your team to come up with their solutions. Your team will appreciate the sense of responsibility you’re entrusting them with.
It takes time to build a positive reputation. You need to have a pattern of behavior that your team and boss can depend on. It can easily take months to show people who you are and what you stand for.
You also need to have patience in your day to day dealings. This could be having patience with your team. You may have one team member that’s struggling to understand a concept or complete a project.
They will appreciate you taking a pause and helping them rather than getting frustrated.
When it comes to your boss, sometimes the things we want take more time than we would like. Your boss will appreciate your understanding of this. Remember, they are in the same position as you with their own boss and team balance to contend with.
Manage Your Professional Reputation
Instead of focusing on who to please first, focus on being the best employee you can be. Always strive to do the right thing, go above and beyond, and focus on the solution instead of the problem. By embodying these qualities you will garner a positive reputation from everyone you work with.
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