Be a part of the solution to be relevant
We carry out our duties daily and sometimes only look at things from our own limited perspective. If you are able to reverse the roles with those you interact, it would help you to view things differently, give you a better understanding of the situation and the people, learn to appreciate differences, even if you don't agree.
Being able to operate daily by looking at things from a different perspective will contribute to your growth and development.
It may assist you to build relationships and certainly help you to grow, not just professionally but personally. It would also help you to assess yourself and learn how you respond to different situations and individuals.
A huge part of growing is learning more about yourself and finding ways to improve, however, you first have to be willing to let your guard down, put aside your fears, insecurities, at times, bad habits, and your ego. Learning requires a bit of humility and recognition that I may not know it all or have experienced it all.
None of this will be easy, and taking one step at a time is important to better understand the process.
Step 1: Acknowledge that the perspectives of others is important.
Step 2: Be a good listener, engage your peers, and ask questions.
Step 3: Establish what success is for you.
Some measure success in different ways - financial wealth, good health, educational achievements, experience, long-lasting marriages or relationships, being able to love unconditionally, a strong spiritual foundation, healthy and successful children, or the ability to have an impact on people's lives and influence a nation by contributing to a positive legacy.
How do you measure success?
Step 4: Commit to trying or learning something new or a different way of doing something. One out of two things will happen. You'll experience that your way might be the better way, or the new method might simplify the process and be the best approach. Either way, you would have learnt something new or now have two techniques to apply going forward, and train yourself to appreciate differences.
Step 5: Celebrate your success and those of others. Learn from your challenges and failures and implement ways to improve.
How we communicate with each other is also extremely important, and showing respect is a crucial element to being a professional and a decent human being. Being able to say sorry and learning to forgive are two difficult things to do at times, but it is very important as we continue to grow and improve.
Try to imagine that at the company you work or for which you are potentially going to work; or even if you are an entrepreneur, all the employees are your responsibility.
The company starts to experience challenges and now needs to reduce the staff count significantly, no fault of the employees. Imagine coming up with a list of criteria for selecting those you keep on staff. What would your list look like?
I would imagine that you would cover the basics such as the individual should be qualified, capable, demonstrate good business practices, shows respect for time, is a true professional, does his job, and upholds the policies and procedures of the company.
But what else would you add to the list? Would you consider someone who is pleasant, flexible, willing to go the extra mile, takes initiative, is respectful and courteous, manages well under pressure, can multitask, has good people skills and gives good service, shows a genuine interest in others and take prides in himself? You may add even more to this list.
Once you have compiled your list, change your perspective back to being the employee, and ask yourself: Am I demonstrating any of these characteristics? Am I sending the right messages? If you are, can you see how this can help to advance your career and possibly help you to keep your job by proving to be invaluable? You are well on your way to strengthening your position as a productive, progressive, and ambitious professional who has a clear purpose.
If you are not that person, then what is preventing you from being that person? What do you plan to improve on today? What system will you implement to monitor your improvements? Can you identify someone to hold you accountable for making these changes?
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Be someone who focuses on solutions, not just the problems.
- Laura Butler is a business and career development consultant with Fusion Consulting Jamaica. She serves as a consultant to some of the leading companies in Jamaica and has been a consultant to numerous leaders in the Caribbean and North America. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 469-427-2007 or 876-620-9127