how you are doing? Awareness
desire of others to work
This is a tough one. Aside from your evaluations from your boss, how are you really doing at work? How
with us. Your communication must be
is your office or workplace structured and what role do you take there? There are three ways to know
constructive always. This is the key to likeability. No one will
how you are doing. First, there is the review you receive from your boss if you get a review at all. If you
last long in a work environment where there is non-produc-
don't, I suggest you ask your boss how you are doing. This is a scary question, I know, but wouldn't you
tive communication. This goes for communication that is be-
rather hear it because you asked than hear it some other way? Plus, what if it's good? Of course though,
ing used to cover up what you perceive to be a problem or
the thing you need to hear is what you can do better. Be cool when you hear it. It may be something
something unpleasant. Productive communication is not al-
you think you are doing well already. This is your opportunity to grow!
ways about smelling the roses. It may seem confrontational or
even destructive to you to point something out that you think
Second, and this is good news, the more you are aware of your communication style and practice the
is wrong, obvious, or can be done better. Think again. Point-
direct and transparent communication skills outlined in step one, the clearer your work environment
ing out a problem and offering one or two solutions is the be-
will become. You will grow keenly aware of others employing similar skills and those who have a long
havior of a winner at work. If you can't think of a solution, ask
way to go. That's the intrinsic difference between an executive and a `worker bee.'
others for their input. Your idea may not be heeded this time
that is not the important thing here (so let that go). The im-
Third, step outside of yourself. Mentally put yourself in the corner of the ceiling or next to yourself in
portant thing is that this kind of constructive communication
a chair when you are discussing something with your boss. No drugs needed this is a self-awareness
will make you known as an important team player someone
exercise used to help you observe your reactions and responses in a variety of situations. How are you
who is not just a spectator-employee going nowhere.
with your boss? Are you expressing your opinion with directness? Are you feeling defensive? If so, how
is it showing? Most importantly, are you listening and engaged? By engaged I mean are you listening
Likeability is huge. It is a mixture of your communication skills
carefully? The way you know you are listening carefully is if you are not thinking about how to answer
and your level of honesty and integrity. Remember, I am not
while someone else is speaking. These questions related to you and how you are connecting to your
talking about making friends in general (though that may
boss and your work hold the key to your future. If your boss feels like he or she has to give you orders,
happen) or "kissing up:" I am talking about people "liking" you
then you have not proven yourself as someone who is on top of their work and worthy of big-picture
at work. Your likeability will be the natural result of growing
discussions. Tasks are tasks but a conversation with your boss in which you are discussing concepts that
and practicing the 5 communication style skills in combina-
drive the work you are doing are conversations your boss will think about when it's promotion time.
tion with your commitment to transparency and honesty.
Note: by honesty, I do not mean to say that you should list
your defects or mistakes. Worse yet, do not say "sorry" every
keep your eye on the prize! focus
time something happens without being 100% sure that you
First, what is it? What is your goal? If you don't have a goal, such as becoming a manager, reaching VP
are actually the cause of a problem. This is a big mistake you
level, or just staying happy at work so you can start your own business someday, then you're not going
will set yourself up as a scapegoat if you apologize all the time
anywhere. If you want to stay where you are and just find more satisfaction in your current position,
for everything. If you did make a mistake don't make a big deal
steps 1 and 2 are also for you. But if you want "up from there," set a goal.
out of it fix it and move on. Keep your standards high, but
don't sweat the small stuff. That is the sign of a winner!
No one knows your particular situation like you do, however your limiting perceptions about your
workplace are the very thing holding you back from seeing how you are doing, making changes for
improvement, and achieving true success. It's hard to be objective about yourself especially when you
may be worried about fitting in and making a good impression. The answer is to be yourself, your best
self the manager or the VP you want to be -- in dress, in tone, in communication style, and in expecta-
The Philippines Magazine would like to retract the sentence that was added to Les-
Getting back to Gemma, two years after her raise, she noticed that others had been promoted to man-
lie's last article that reads: "Why not pad that resume or bump-up that dossier?"
agement positions and she had not. She mustered all of her courage and asked new her boss what it
Leslie would never say, write, or recommend that ever! As a matter of fact when
would take for her to be a manager (her old boss, who liked Gemma a lot, is now a vice president and
Leslie saw that sentence that we added she asked us to change it to "strengthen"
works in a different division). Her new boss told her that although she never heard anything negative
your resume not "pad!" It just goes to show how a word gets bantered around a
about Gemma and her work was very good, that she hadn't heard Gemma's colleagues refer to her as
lot and the next thing you know, we really aren't using it correctly! Of course, if we
an integral team member or leader on any project. Furthermore, the new boss also said, "I had no idea
keep using it, dictionaries will change and "pad" will mean something like, "...use
you had aspirations for management Gemma."
descriptive words to emphasize your abilities and accomplishments." That's what we
at the Magazine meant when we added this to Leslie's article. We wanted to pad,
NO! - strengthen Leslie's article by saying that more descriptive information and a
There it is! Gemma told her new boss with a smile that being a manager was her goal. The next week,
more direct communication style in your resume will help you. But for now, as Leslie
Gemma was put in charge of a new account, and now has a chance to practice her communication
pointed out -- padding by definition is never a good idea never! Your resume is
skills in leading her colleagues on that project. In addition, Gemma read my next article about net-
your word, so never say you did something you didn't. Do however focus on your
working and strategically notified others in the company, including her old boss, to let them know that
best abilities and use word such as "effective," "team-oriented," "efficient," "goal-
she is now in charge of a new account and vying for a management position.
oriented," "adaptable," "imaginative..." and the list goes on! Just make sure that
whatever you are stating is a part of your actual work history and your work mantra.
Go ahead pump-up that resume no padding needed!
Like almost everything in life, lasting change and real advancement starts within: how you feel about
--The Philippines Magazine
yourself and how you communicate that to your fellows will decide where you end up on the corporate
ladder--and on the food chain of life.
Hold on to your dream. Be bold!
"Networking to Thrive"