“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” These words attributed to Confucius, the famed Chinese Philosopher who died in 479 BC, and since then the quote has been pointed toward more modern-day alumni, never-the-less, the adage still rings true today. But simply “doing what you love to do” may not be enough when you are part of a corporate environment.
Whether it’s working directly for the CEO or as part of an administrative team, you will find the “work style” of your boss or manager will have an impact on how you perform and enjoy your job. How many people do you know who have quit a job because of their manager, supervisor or team leader? I am guessing at least a few, or perhaps you left a job because you didn’t fit the mold your boss required? I’ve heard the stories. He was too demanding, she was a micro-manager. I never received any direction or support, or (the other extreme) I work better when left alone. Whatever the reason, disappointment, in many cases, can be cut off at the pass by finding a partnership style that works with your manager at the outset. Here are a few Points-of-Wisdom (POW) to consider:
POW #1 – OBSERVE and MAKE MENTAL NOTES. Gain perspective on your manager’s preference for on-the-job behavior by watching how he or she interacts with others, conveys expectations, evaluates efforts & results, and makes decisions. How does your manager prefer to communicate? Mostly during meetings or one-on-one? Is he or she in control of every aspect of decision making or open to delegating tasks and/responsibility? Over the course of several days or a few weeks, you should have a grasp of your manager’s work style. In the rare circumstance, you find you are perfectly aligned with work ethics and work style, enjoy! Otherwise, there’s some work to be done.
Evaluate your work-style; then list any behaviors that may be out-of-sync with your manager’s expectations. Or if you’re interviewing for a job and don’t have the opportunity to observe them in action, then during your interview process add questions such as “Do you prefer to communicate in one-on-one meetings or via email? Do you delegate tasks and responsibility, or do you prefer to maintain control of all aspects of your job?” Also, ask what his management style is with his direct reports. This will give you a good picture of how he or she would work with an assistant.
POW #2 – ADAPT and EVOLVE. Whether it’s brain-storming with co-workers, submitting your ideas in writing or tackling several tasks at once, approach new ways of doing things as a learning experience that could help you improve your skills. It may be challenging but you just might find yourself stretching yourself beyond what you thought were your limits. And that is not a bad thing. If you are struggling to adapt, but are committed to success, there are “third party” or “executive” coaches you may consult to help you hone the skills needed to achieve your goals.
POW # 3 – STAY CLASSY. If your manager or management style becomes the topic of conversation with co-workers, strongly resist the urge to join in the banter. Whether legitimate or not, discussions regarding any manager or supervisor with other employees could result in dire consequences. And besides, you are better than that. Any issues (no matter the employee) should be discussed directly with the manager, a superior or human resource if warranted, depending on how the chain of command is set up in your workplace.
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Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer, who was an administrative professional herself, and her teaching style is grounded in authentic office experience. AdminUniverse™ can help you improve yourself, widen your skill set, and advance your career. Connect: firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.adminuniverse.com