You’re beginning a job search and feeling quite smug about the portfolio of technical skills you have to offer employers. After all, when it comes to your particular field—accounting, IT, graphic design or whatever area you’re in—you’ve got the degree, certifications and experience.
But don’t be surprised if employers aren’t lining up outside your door. With the slowdown of the economy, there are plenty of people with strong technical skills competing for the few jobs available. If you really want to stand out above the crowd and impress a potential employer, wow them with your interpersonal skills.
What’s the most common form of business communication in your organization? If you’re like most companies, it’s e-mail. What’s the most commonly misinterpreted, abused, overused, annoying and generally frustrating form of communication in your organization? Yep, that’s what I thought.
E-mail has seemingly become the fifth basic life requirement to many of us: Oxygen, water, food, shelter—and e-mail. Not necessarily in that order, right? I know some folks who would probably go out into a snowstorm without a coat before they would ever consider going without e-mail for even a few minutes of their hectic day.
Many managers don’t even realize they’re doing it. And those who do probably won’t admit to it. I’m talking about the stifling and extremely inefficient management style known as micromanaging.
Micromanagers just can’t let go of the details and, as a result, drive their employees and peers batty with their nit-picking, overzealous personalities.
If you work for or with a my-way-or-the-highway manager, you have a very real problem on your hands. A micromanager can chip away at your self-confidence, deplete your motivation and sabotage your success. It’s like living in a prison—with no way out.
In a previous post, I talked about the saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” In business, no matter how well you craft a solution, if it’s not what the end-user wants, they’re not going to be too keen on using it.
Now, having said that, imagine you’re on the other side of this equation. You’re the horse (sorry) and you’re being asked to drink the water so thoughtfully provided to you.
The programmer you’ve been working with invites you to come down to see the fruits of his labor. You’re excited, he’s excited … even his Dilbert poster looks excited.
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” An old saying and one you’ve probably heard many times before, but have you ever thought about it in a business context?
Over the years, my team has had a lot of success implementing new processes and taking advantage of technology to improve our company’s procedures. Unfortunately, we’ve also had situations where we’ve created solutions that have missed the mark. These misses can be very close (such as when an end-user just wanted us to move the location of a button), or so far away that it seems we’ve missed the target entirely (giving the user a “what were they thinking?” feeling).