Easy Ways to Keep Perceptions Positive
Keeping up with the breakneck pace of today’s 24/7 world is exhausting. So my advice this week is to disconnect from the grid and enjoy a mid-summer holiday week. That’s what my kids and I are doing, and I hope you’re able to take some extra time to refresh and rest up, too.
When I was 18, I worked as a trainer for a small-town telemarketing company where two leaders blessed me with the rudest, most poorly delivered advice I’ve ever received.
Jack writes, “Two years ago I left a large utility corporation, where it seemed I’d never stand out, to accept a leadership role with my local parks & recreation department. Ever since my first day, I have been working non-stop, nights and weekends. The intensity of the job is tremendous. Things had fallen so far behind, and they expect me to do everything. My family is suffering, and now I’m considering an offer back at the utility company. My boss relies on me for everything, and I know he’ll take my leaving personally. How do I tell him, it’s not you it’s me?”
Whenever change occurs, it seems natural to focus all your communication efforts on the individuals directly affected—those who are losing a job, reporting to a new leader or being asked to take on added responsibilities. Still, all your employees are watching how you manage the changes.
Early in my career I worked for a well-known manufacturing company. One day, seemingly out of the blue, our CEO sent a company-wide email announcing that our entire IT department was being outsourced. In his message, he explained that impacted employees would be rebadged to the new IT provider—or terminated.
Fueled by fears of how they’ll be perceived, many bosses stammer, stutter and blunder through bad-news announcements. That’s why they often choose to hide behind political jargon or sneak out
Jill writes, “I was presenting to a group of clients and my boss had a note delivered to me that said, ‘meet me in conference room A and bring all your things’. When I arrived he told me he was letting me go. It’s been about six months since that happened. I believe my boss handled the situation poorly, and I would love to know what is the best way to let someone go?”
Bob writes…”I am the VP in charge of an enormous merger at my company. Moments ago, I learned that someone on my team accidentally forwarded an email that contained information about highly controversial decisions. It went out to three people and as far as I know, one of those people sent it on to another six people.”
Kevin writes, “The best way for me to describe my situation at work is to compare it to the movie Mean Girls. There are two women in my department who constantly undermine my authority. They belittle me in front of clients and talk behind my back to everyone. To make matters worse, they’re incompetent. I want to talk with my boss and convince him to promote me. The whole situation is making me miserable, and I’m convinced that unless they report to me, I will never have any peace.”