You are good at what you do. You are techincally able. You’ve decvloped high quality relationships with many of the people in your team or department, people you work alongside day-in day-out. Consequently those colleagues who know you well recognise the value of what you do and how you do it. These co-workers regard you as being someone who applies yourself, understands your subject, has the skills you need to do a top job, has something to say, and is both competent and confident. They know your strengths and your areas for development. They have first hand, regular evidence of the value of the work you do. Within your department or your team you have influence and may even be regarded as an opinion-former on some topics.
But outside of your team or department it’s another story. You are not that well known and find it more difficult to get heard. In fact, you may be seen as someone who doesn’t make much of an impact, hasn’t got a profile of any renown, and isn’t influential. The challenge before you is to find a way to let those people who don’t see you at work day to day, understand the value of what you contribute, the outcomes you create, and the understated way in which you simply get on with it.
So, what can you do? Actually, quite a lot. Click here to keep reading and find out how
Bullying in the workplace is a sad fact of life. I am contacted every week by people who are being, or have been, successfully targeted by colleagues and workplace contacts – and who want to know what to do to protect themselves. I take the view that every employer needs to commit to creating and maintaining a zero-tolerance culture towards bullying; that every HR department investigating alleged instances of bullying needs to acquire insight and knowledge into the complex dynamics at play in workplace bullying, so they can arrive at a just conclusion; and that every person at work needs to know how to protect themselves at the time of an attack.
One starting point is to recognise why bullies bully. You can read five key reasons why one person might start to bully another here – as well what you can do to fight back.
You have a troublesome peer and their behaviour is causing you a headache. This colleague of yours is talented. They have some leadership skills when they put their mind to it. They possess some drive and, when they are engaged, some determination too. They could use their natural strengths and their resolve to become an able and valued colleague, someone who consistently contributes to the evolving agenda of the organisation you both work for, someone who shoulders responsibility and gets things done. And sometimes they do behave like that. But, the problem is that, in the main, they don’t.
Your peer is high maintenance. They waste time in meetings taking the discussion along paths that are simply not productive. They say one thing, but then do another. They seem to operate out of an agenda all of their own. Sometimes they voluntarily offer to input to projects. But, when it comes down to it, they don’t do the work and, if they do, their input is about their own political agenda not the best interests of your joint employer. And when they are called on their failure to deliver they become nonchalant and flip, appearing unconcerned that they have let you and others down.
You have previously confronted your team member abotu their unhelpful behaviour and each time you did so you hit a brick wall. So, what can you do? Actually, quite a lot. Click here to keep reading and find out how.
Irresponsible colleagues become skilled at appearing to be busy. Many organisations have them: people who are able at managing the impression they create to those who work above them, but don’t actually shoulder much of the work in their teams. These colleagues prefer to let deadlines slip, arrive late at some meetings or miss others altogether. They always have a ready excuse or ‘reason’ for why they failed to do their share of the work. They place strain on their more industrious team colleagues, safe in the knowledge that one of them is likely to bail them out. A pattern is quickly established whereby the irresponsible colleague doesn’t do all or some of their work on time or to standard, and one of their colleagues steps in and does it for them.
Irresponsible colleagues can be energy-sapping and draining to deal with. Not only can you end up doing their work as well as your own, but they appear immune to feedback. When challenged about why they have failed to meet a deadline or skipped a meeting, they can be quick to create a half-hearted promise to change their ways, but subsequently carry on as if that challenge had not occured.
However, a well crafted, skillful confrontation can influence an irresponsible colleague towards approaching their work in a more committed way. Click here to keep reading and find out how.
Imposter Syndrome is very common amongst successful people at work. Imposter Syndrome is the fear that, no matter how successful or well qualified you have become, you are not really that good at what you do. And that, one day, someone is going to find you out, call you a fraud and leave you to pick up the pieces of your shattered credibility and self-esteem.
If you identify with this description, the good news is you don’t have to struggle with these fears. Because that is what they are: fears you have generated about yourself which are not actually the truth about you. Those fears are a reflection of a series of self-limiting and self-defeating beliefs, thoughts and feelings, all of which can be challenged and replaced by self-confident, life-affirming alternatives.
I firmly believe that confidence is a learned skill. Enabling clients to develop their self-confidence, and demonstrate greater self-belief, is a key goal in most coaching programmes. If you would like to read more about how I work with issues around Imposter Syndrome click here.