Conflicts of Interest Blog by Vivian Scott
Everyone knows that employers don’t appreciate disgruntled, whiny employees, right? But does the average person know how the organization does want them to behave? Should one suck up, agree with everything, or leave all the decisions to others? Here are a few thoughts on the subject.
One of the most important skills employers look for is the ability to problem solve. Knowing how to approach a problem—any problem—is a talent management values. If an employee is able to take a personal reaction out of a messy situation and instead define, investigate, and resolve an issue with a level head, their manager will notice and reward them for the approach.
Showing your trustworthiness is always a good idea. Saying what you mean and meaning what you say as well as doing what you’ve said you’re going to do will earn you high marks with management. Under- or over-stating your abilities, the available resources, or the team’s capacity will get you into trouble. Instead, tell it like it is when it comes to making commitments based on skill and resources and your boss will know that she can trust what you say in other areas as well.
Believe it or not, employers actually value opinions. What matters to the boss, though, is in how that opinion is delivered. Pointing out everything that’s wrong without providing solutions (notice there’s an “s” on the end of solution) isn’t what he’s looking for. He wants to see that your opinion considers the bigger picture and demonstrates a desire to make positive changes within the confines of available resources.
And, finally, attitude is everything. Employers have enough to think about without having to deal with sad saps and complainers. Coming in every day with the best of intentions and demonstrating that you’re happy to be there gets you noticed. It’s not unusual for a lesser qualified person to be promoted over a peer with a great resume simply based on attitude. Show that you’re up for any job by smiling, graciously accepting performance critiques, and demonstrating a willingness to learn more about not only the tasks at hand but those beyond your current responsibilities.
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