By: Dwain Celistan
t’s been said that half of the job is showing up. And that is certainly true. However, the more important half is what you do when you get there. Thriving in your workplace goes beyond attendance and basic job competency. Your goal should be exceptional delivery of your work product.
Here are three techniques you can use that will help focus and improve your output. Longer term, adherence to these action steps will lead you to greater success on the job.
1. Approach each project as if the audience is the company president or will be shown on television or used at a conference of your peers. If you take this posture, every project is important and you will do your best work. Think about showing a videotape of your participation at the typical Monday morning staff meeting to the entire company. Would your approach to that meeting be the same? Is there more you could do to put your best foot forward? Remember, every opportunity is one that merits excellence.
2. Employ the “best practices” from others in your field. This mindset requires that you continually research your function and industry to ensure you are aware of current best practices. Conduct your homework both inside and outside of your current organization. For example, if one of your peers has been recognized for a particular area of outstanding work; then you should “claim and rename.” By this I mean that you should find a way to incorporate their techniques into your approach. There are two methods that I recommend you employ to learn best practices:
1) read at least one book and several periodicals per month that cover your industry and function. They can be a great source of information and ideas.
2) Volunteer to represent your function or organization at conferences. These are fantastic opportunities to listen to presentations, network with others, and keep abreast of new and evolving developments in your field.
Beyond gaining information, commit to action. Try one or two of the ideas. Adjust them for your style and organization. The key is to use the input to improve your performance.
3. Provide thorough and accurate communication.Some people have a knack for making mediocre performance look better than it really is. But longevity and advancement gravitate to those with strong performance that is well packaged.
Reflect on the times when someone presented a topic well because of both the quality of the subject matter, and the delivery. This happens daily in many settings-meeting recaps, leading a group, training, sharing information with other departments, etc. Take advantage of these opportunities to deliver excellent content, well.
Another useful tool is the “next morning” rule. This is particularly helpful with e-mail. It is very helpful when you complete an assignment at the end of the day; consider reviewing it the next morning before sending. You have given yourself an opportunity for a fresh review of the material. This usually guarantees an improvement in the finished product.
There are additional benefits of the “next morning” rule in e-mails. As you know, an e-mail can live forever. Therefore, it is important that it represents you appropriately. Every e-mail is an advertisement for you, your writing ability, and it is an example of the clarity and quality of your thinking. Consider all of these aspects before you press “send”:
- Is the tone professional?
- Is this document error free (spelling, grammatical, facts, etc)?
- Is this e-mail optimized for my audience?
As always, challenge yourself to thrive, not just survive!