RHM014 – Getting in Alignment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI set three thematic words for 2017, and one of them is authenticity (for more on the other themes, check out Episode 9 – So Long 2016!). This solo episode takes a closer look at how I bring authenticity to my professional life, and offers suggestions on how you can do the same. Download the whole episode by clicking here.

Notes from the episode:

  1. Being authentic means you don’t have to be all things to all people. I learned the hard way that whether you are trying to make sure everyone is happy or picking up the slack for your teammates, refusing to set boundaries at work can leave you totally burned out.
  2.  Calling out micro-aggressions doesn’t make you a bad person. It might seem easier to let someone slide when they offend you, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to allow inappropriate behavior to slide in the hopes of keeping the peace.
  3. If you really don’t agree, you should speak up. If you were hired to join a team, chances are your employer thought you had something of value to add. Giving your opinion can be the difference between a positive and negative work experience, so if you think something needs to be changed, say so.

(Ed. note). Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of the Titans features an interview with entrepreneur, software engineer and venture capitalist Marc Andreesen. Andreesen suggests creating “red teams” at work dedicating to challenging all new ideas – the concept being that ideas making it through the red team process would be battle-tested and more likely to succeed. I think the same concept applies when giving authentic feedback at work. Instead of going along to get along, share your reservations and ideas with the group.

As with any mindset/practice shift,  change won’t happen overnight, but you are likely to feel more confident as time goes on. For more on this topic, check out Episode 11 – Keeping Your Integrity at Work.

 

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RHM012 – How to Give Criticism at Work

rushhourSo you notice there is a problem at work, how do you bring it to your supervisor’s attention without being perceived as complaining? We discuss this question in this week’s solo episode on the Rush Hour Mentor podcast. Grab the episode here: bit.ly/rushhourmentor.

 

 

 

 

A few suggestions for giving criticism at work:

  1. Don’t make it personal. Once you bring personal politics into a work complaint, your conversation will shift to dealing with a person rather than an issue.
  2. Document, document, document! Your argument will be much stronger if you can provide proof. Get things in writing when you can, and keep track of dates and incidents.
  3. Offer solutions. An excellent way to avoid being seen as a complainer is to do the work of coming up with solutions.
  4. Get support. If you aren’t getting traction with your direct supervisor, brainstorm with other trusted colleagues. It’s possible that you aren’t the only one who has noticed an issue and that others are willing to support you in seeking solutions.
  5. Don’t take it personally. At the end of the day, if you’ve done everything listed above and still don’t receive the support you deserve, don’t internalize that feedback. You are responsible for yourself at the end of the day, and if others won’t listen to reason, it is not your fault.

Resource: A book that I recommend for navigating tough discussions is Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George Thompson.

Have you given criticism to your supervisors? What worked? What didn’t? Let me know your thoughts!

 

RHM011-Keeping your integrity at work

integrityIn this solo episode, I dive into a listener question about an issue that many of us will encounter at some point: what to do when your integrity is challenged at work? (Check out the episode here) I offer a few suggestions for pushing back when you are asked to go along with something you don’t agree with:

  1. Know your values: You know in your gut when something is off about what you are being asked to do, listen to your intuition and trust that if you are receiving lots of red flags about something, you need to stop and take notice.
  2. Know that you have the right to stay above the fray: You are not responsible for jumping in to office gossip, or perpetuating anything that you disagree with. When your integrity is challenged, it’s important to remember that not going along with it is still a choice.
  3. Know your resources: If you need to escalate a situation, you should be prepared for the outcome, good or bad. If human resources isn’t a viable option for you, you may want to seek legal counsel (check out www.workplacefairness.org). You should also keep your resume updated and your network active, better to be safe than sorry!
  4. Know your worth: Don’t allow fear of losing a role be a motivating factor when it comes to standing up for what you believe is right. Positions come and go, but integrity is hard to replace!

How do you deal with integrity issues at work? Drop me a message below in the comment section!

RHM005 – Mastering the Job Hunt

rushhourIn this solo episode, Monica shares some of the common pitfalls we make in the job application process and how to avoid them:

Resumes and Cover Letters

  • If you are applying for a role that is outside your area of expertise, you need to make the case for how your skills transfer. Do not assume that the hiring manager can look at your resume and make the leap for you.
  • If your resume is too long, get creative. Instead of listing all of your accomplishments and positions, list the ones that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Some hiring managers stop reading after the first or second page, so make your argument early!
  • If you are asked for a cover letter, provide one. Skipping this step can make you appear lazy or entitled when that isn’t the case. Again, don’t assume that your resume will tell the hiring manager everything they need to know.

Interviewing

  • Interviewers are looking for more than your hard skills, they are interested in your emotional intelligence, ability to think critically, and ‘fit’ in the company culture.
  • Do your homework. Have an understanding of the company you are working for and use resources like Linkedin and Glassdoor to fill in information about potential managers and coworkers and the work environment.
  • Be prepared with 5-6 well thought-out questions (not, ‘How much does it pay?’). Engage in a dialogue with your interviewer about goals for the position and the company to demonstrate your understanding of the mission.
  • Finally, show your gratitude! Take a moment to write an email thanking everyone that you interview with. Even if you don’t get a response, the interviewer will take note and it might set you apart from the competition!