Learning to be objective about our work performance.
Kevin doesn't see that giving himself a bath in front of everyone in the house as disturbing or even offensive. To him, he needs to be clean, so he will clean. We can't explain to him that our non-cat friendly friends think it is weird or gross he does this cleaning openly in public. However, as the bipedal species, we can take the observational comments from our visitors, and take our own opinion of the situation and make a choice. To change or improve our behaviour or do nothing and possibly face criticism or isolation. This is why we can struggle on teams and with upper management. We can be subjective and truly feel that we are doing nothing wrong and can't figure-out why we are not promoted, congratulated, or rewarded for our performance.
There are leaders who are not good. There are many in almost every firm or company who do not deserve to have the role they do. However, there are some qualities that they have which allow them to lead others. Mostly, these qualities have more to do with the ability to profit and deliver than people or inter-personal skills. From a companies objective view, profit and delivery equals a happy client or a client that will return even if they don't like the people. This does not mean everyone on the team agrees that they are a good leader or good person. What management should try to achieve is both. Good profit, deliverables, AND happy teams. Modern leadership workshops and training are trying to do this, but it takes time.
When you aren't moving in the direction that you feel you should with work, you need to take the time stand outside your self and really observe what is happening around you. Do you truly take initiative? Do you ask clear questions about what you want to be doing in your role? Do you ask, literally, to lead projects or meetings? Often, we think we are doing these things but we are not. What comments are you getting in your performance review? Can you put aside your own assumptions and hear what is being said without anger and frustration? It is very hard to look at yourself as an outsider, but it can be extremely beneficial for your self awareness and your career. Once you begin to look at your performance like the reviewer, the anger and frustration go away and you start to look at ways to improve and even surpass the person who gave you the review!
These comments are not written from a place of being completely objective about myself. It is a constant struggle to be honest with yourself(myself) and not always pretty. Yet, it has brought me success and good fortune at times. As for Kevin, we just tell our non-cat friends that we are "currently working with his present issues".
Fiona Warren - 17 years experience with large high-profile projects and teams.