If your boss routinely delegates projects without telling you how things should get done, and then picks apart your work and asks you to start over, you need to get proactive. Asking for more clarity upfront is a place to begin, but if that doesn’t work, try figuring out your boss’ viewpoint in another way. When you’re asked to handle a project, draft a preliminary plan for how you intend to approach the task. Set up a meeting with your boss to review it and see what he thinks. Incorporate his feedback into a revised plan and share that with him again. Keep doing this until your boss signs off. If you do this often enough, your boss may eventually realize that he can save time by being more specific at the outset.
Some of your most valuable employees are those junior staff who act and contribute far beyond their pay grade. Look out for these individuals so you can recognize them, cultivate their talents, and set them up as examples to others. Here are three characteristics to spot:
- They focus on results. Because they concentrate on the outcomes rather than the process, they know when to break rules — and it’s not to be rebellious
- They have strong interpersonal skills. Despite their junior titles, these stars lead through influence. And they gain that sway by connecting with others.
- They demonstrate high integrity. They are consistent in their actions and words. When conflicts arise, others look to them over formal leaders for guidance.
Can’t remember whether you sent an email? No need to worry; you can check a list of all the emails you have sent by going to your mail home screen (the screen that has the Inbox, Trash, All Mail, etc.,) and click on Sent Mail. It may take a while to load if you haven’t checked this section in a while, but eventually, a list of every email you’ve ever sent will appear in the folder.
Have fun with your iPad!
Have fun with your iPad!
If you wear headphones at work you may feel they drown out distractions and help you focus. But headphones — whether you’re listening to music or not — also isolate you from your work environment and that can have negative consequences. When you’re cut off from the informal conversations going on around you, you miss out on the opportunity to contribute to meaningful discussions about work and form bonds with your colleagues. The more you participate in the ambient, informal life of the office, the more committed you’ll be to the work of the company. If you need intense focus, wear your headphones every once in a while. But don’t make it a habit.
Adapted from “Workers, Take Off Your Headphones” by Anne Kreamer.
When a project or meeting gets difficult, it can be tempting to power through to try to get it over with. But it’s better to do the same you might do for a slow-moving computer: shut it off and wait a minute. Give yourself the opportunity to regain your composure. In a meeting that’s going nowhere? Take a break. Not making headway on that proposal you need to write? Take a walk. During the break, don’t think of new strategies or arguments. By taking yourself out of the situation, you allow your brain to rest so that when you return — with a fresh perspective and a calm mind — you are more likely to find a new solution.