GET REAL

Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for May, 2010

How can I serve you?

I’ve worked with customer service representatives, administrative assistants, engineers, physicians, executives and CEOs, and just about every level and role in between. Some people are amazing at what they do. Others struggle to stay afloat.

It occurs to me, that if I were forced to offer only one piece of advice that would apply to every person, at every job level and capability, in every situation, it would be this: When approaching a collaborative project, a co-worker, colleague, manager, employee, or customer, keep this question in mind: How can I serve you?

Our genuine intent to serve those individuals we are attempting to collaborate with, work for, or manage—regardless of how difficult it may be—will raise the odds significantly for a positive outcome and business impact.

In my experience, helping others be successful catapults our own success and ultimately the success of our organizations. And, as a personal bonus, it can be very rewarding.

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Realize the impact you have within your own circle of influence.

If you’re leading a team, you have an opportunity—regardless of how effective your own manager or leaders are—to create an environment where people will thrive and want to contribute.

If you’re managing a team and find yourself, temporarily or otherwise, in an organization or situation where you’re experiencing less than effective leadership or guidance from your own manager, you may understandably find yourself feeling frustrated and limited. However, the most important factors that will have an impact on your own team, have little to do with overall organizational structure and effectiveness, or the strengths or weaknesses of upper management. It has much more to do with their ability to trust their own manager and team. It has much more to do with being recognized for a job well done, or being asked to contribute ideas or their skills to a needed solution. It has everything to do with how positive their smaller team environment is. People thrive when they are included, heard and considered.

The good news is that nothing can get in the way of your choosing to provide these things, regardless of the bigger picture challenges.

You may not choose to stay in an environment where leadership and/or organizational effectiveness are lacking. But while you’re there and you’re managing others, you can make a difference.