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A Look In The Mirror

Nov 7, 2012

When was the last time you took a step back and looked at your own performance? After all, it is your performance that determines where your career will go.

If you’re really honest with yourself, on a scale of 1 to 10, how well are you performing at work? How would your co-workers rate you? And your boss – how would he or she rate you?

Assuming you have some room for improvement – and that might be a silly assumption on my part – that leads to the question of how you could do that. And that’s usually not an easy question to answer. Let’s look at a few big picture areas that might make a difference.

  • Communication: Could you improve your communication with co-workers and your boss? That may be as “simple” as communicating more, or as challenging as changing your communication style. What would happen if you made a commitment to communicate more over the next month, letting co-workers and management know about what you’re working on, what’s working and not working, sharing your ideas, and giving them feedback on what you appreciate about them? What would happen if you practiced listening more? Communication is a two-way street, and yet we often don’t listen as well as we should.
  • Pace: How’s your pace at work? Could you be more productive if you sped up your pace? Or, what if you slowed your pace just a little bit so it allowed you to deliver a better outcome, so you came across as more caring, calmer, and more focused? When I ask about pace I’m not suggesting that faster is always better.
  • Attitude: It’s been shown in study after study that a person’s attitude has a bigger impact on whether they succeed in their role at work than skills do. Making a deliberate decision and commitment to walk into work with a positive and supportive attitude, and showing enthusiasm for what you do may lead to bigger and better things for you in your career.
  • Training: While attitude may be more important than skills in terms of career advancement, that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Could you do some self-study to upgrade your skills in specific areas that will help you do your job better? What if you enrolled in some courses? Would that mean you could do a better job? And the skills I’m talking about may not be specific to what you do, but they could be things like time management or writing that apply to just about any role.

Those are just a few ideas to get you thinking about what you might be able to do to step up your performance. Think about what the results might be of improved performance…

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