|Careers & Employment Information|
Knowing and Guessing
The line between average and exceptional work performance is dotted with ordinary day-by-day behaviors. I was reminded of that line recently. My husband was explaining to a nurse how he'd inadvertently taken the last dose of the live typhoid virus on the wrong day and wondered if he needed to retake the sequence prior to our Africa trip. "No," she commented, "I think you'll be fine." We both knew she was guessing.
While rolling down my sleeve from the next set of immunizations, a different nurse poked her head into the room. "I overheard your conversation at the desk." she said to Dan. "We've never had that situation, so I thought it best to call the drug manufacturer for advice. Turns out you need to retake the entire dosage." We were grateful she took the extra step.
It's not possible to know all the answers to all the questions you'll get tossed in the workplace. But, be willing to say when you don't. That's better than giving out misinformation or guessing at an answer without making it clear it's a guess. People who are winning at working add four words - "but I'll find out." And they do find out and get back to the person. That extra step differentiates their performance in the workplace.
Jeff was already in the department when I was hired to manage it. "I don't know" was his typical response when queried beyond the surface status reports of his projects. At first, I expected Jeff to automatically find out the answers to my questions and inform me, his new boss. But he never did. Jeff managed to train me to follow up to his "I don't know," with "please find out and tell me."
Jeff worked for me for two years and at the time I moved on, I was still asking him to find out. For Jeff and people like Jeff, "I don't know" is a habitual way to reduce their task list. To them, "I don't know" ends it. What they don't realize is what else it ends in the minds of their bosses, clients or customers.
It baffles me that someone thinks saying "I don't know" suffices when it involves their work responsibilities. It baffles me how frequently people offer their best guesses like factual answers. And it baffles me, in my twenty years in management, how surprisingly few people took the small step to find out. Those who did stood out. They went from guessing to knowing. Find out answers and you'll build knowledge that differentiates you.
Want to be winning at working? Stop guessing; start knowing. The next time you find yourself venturing a guess on an important answer, pause. Then reframe your response with, "I don't know for sure, but I'll find out for you." Not only will you be adding to your knowledge base, but when you find out and follow up with the person, you'll be building your credibility and crossing an important performance line.
(c) 2005 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Sign up to receive Nan's free biweekly eColumn at http://www.winningatworking.com Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. She has held leadership positions in Human Resource Development, Communication, Marketing and line Management. Nan has a B.A. from Stanford University and M.A. from the University of Michigan. Currently working on her first book, Winning at Working: 10 Lessons Shared, Nan is a writer, columnist, small business owner, and on-line instructor.
How To Deal With A Difficult Boss
Most people at some point in their lives have to deal with a difficult boss. Difficult supervisors vary in personality from being a little pushy or rude, all the way to being downright abusive. Many people feel that an abusive boss has control of their personal life outside of work by lowering their self-esteem and making them live in constant fear. The role of a supervisor sometimes attracts certain controlling-type personalities because they crave the power it gives them and because they lack such control in their own personal lives. A supervisor has complete control over your most basic human needs-your ability to put food on the table and a roof over your head. These are powerful motivating factors that allow a difficult supervisor to control people out of fear of losing these basic needs. We may not be able to always correct their behavior, but we should never have to live in fear and let our difficult boss control our lives.
To Get Hired or Get Promoted, Attitude Is The Key
When you're looking to get hired or get promoted, what do you think is your most important asset? Your experience? Knowledge? Skill? Talent?
Why You Need To Be An Intrapreneur
When a client asks me if I think he or she is a good candidate for starting a new business, I ask several questions (see our free assessment, "Are You an Entrepreneur?"). But the truth of the matter is that these questions are similar to ones that I'd ask someone who wants to move up in an organization or find a new position elsewhere. When people call an executive coach after deciding to make a change or being laid off, those who have treated their career like their own business will have a much easier time.
Career Change - Is Your Career A Good Fit Or Is It Causing Pain?
Do you leap out of bed in the morning looking forward to the day ahead?
Stepping Stone Jobs
What we name something matters.
Ive Got the Big Bad B Word on My Job!
That "B" word---B O R E D O M.
Taking a Survival Type Job Is Good For You.
Ugh! Arg! How can a survivor type job be good for me? I'm barely hanging on to what I found and at minimum wage. (I have been promised a ten cent an hour increase in one month).
How To Power Negotiate Your Next Bonus
A raise in your base salary is a permanent source of increased income. However, to increase your take home pay, you can also negotiate performance bonuses on specific projects, activities, or time frames. In the sales world bonuses are often called commissions. That is, a person is paid a salary plus commission for a certain level of sales. However, even if you are not in sales, you can find ways to earn extra income by negotiating win-win solutions.
Ten Things To Do If You Really, Really Hate Your Job
1. Begin focusing on what you want instead of how much you want to escape. When you find yourself sharing the latest horror story, stop in mid-sentence and say, "What I want to have is..."
Do What You Love, Love What You Do
Everyone dreams of a life full of love and adventure. But we fill ourselves with reasons not to follow our dreams. Instead of protecting us, they imprison and hold us back. Life will be over before we know it, so now is the time to really live life and love.
Interview Thank-You Letters
The number one etiquette tip for interviews is writing a thank-you letter. This is not a tool commonly used by job seekers right now. If you are looking for an advantage and a way to stick out above the other job applicants then follow up your interview by showing appreciation and courtesy.
If You Think You Cant Change Course... Youre Right
Job Search: The End of the Line
There is an end to the job search tunnel!
Ask the Recruiter
We all have career goals, big or small. Here are some questions I have recieved over the last month from those actively seeking new employment.
Loving What You Do
Man is a social animal and survival is his major need. There are needs that he needs be fulfill. The needs can be physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. A common thread that connects all the above need is a means to sustain physically. He can barter his skills to sustain himself.
Build Your Career Decision By Decision
Do you dislike making decisions and avoid the challenge whenever you can?
Why Do Interviews Die: That Sinking Feeling and How to Prevent it!
Interviews die because a mistake occurred. Sometimes, you've made a mistake; sometimes they die because someone who screened a resume did.
You?re Ready for a Career Change - Is Your Resume?
You finally did it. You made the decision to leave a career that makes you dread every Monday morning and pursue one that you feel is your true calling. Congratulations! Making the decision was the hard part, right? Unfortunately, no. You've convinced yourself that this is the right move?how do you convince everyone else? It's time to work on your resume.
Powerful Phone Interviews
Phone interviews are de rigueur with many organizations.
Simple Interviewing That Works
Powerful questions to get below the surface
|Home | Site Map | Careers | Australian Domain Names | UK Domain Names | Investment Property | Sydney Web Hosting | Email Hosting | NZ Website Hosting | NZ Domain Names|