Book available online or at your local bookstore. Temeko Richardson

Changing the Eyes of the Beholder

How Do They Really See You?
It is cliche but there is some truth to beauty being in the eye of the beholder.  In the workplace, beauty relates more to what your peers and management deem important for their agenda.  Oh yes, beholders have one!

Since beholders usually contribute heavily to annual evaluations and reviews, it is in your best interest to understand how they view you and your work ethic and put a game plan together to make some adjustments.

1)  Ask for constructive criticism.  When you have completed your tasks or are part of important decisions, ask peers about your input and what you could have done better, if anything.  Use the feedback and begin making the appropriate changes with checkpoints for future projects on how well you did to meet the needs of others.
2)  Compare your turnaround time and deliverables to the peers that seem to be praised for their work.  If your deliverables are more detailed and are always timely, there is more to it than your work ethic.  There is another piece to the puzzle.
3)  Attitude checks are necessary.  Sometimes people do not know the difference between a poor attitude or being passionate.  Passionate people elevate their voices to make a point while people with poor attitudes normally reflect negativity in their statements regardless to the facts presented.  Learn to tone it down with the same conviction if it makes others uncomfortable.  If you are always calm during conflict and your manager beats on the desk, raises his voice, and uses foul language to get a point across, you might be seen as nonchalant about work.  If you work with and especially for management like the latter, it is unhealthy and warrants you to make a change.
4)   Observe interactions at group meetings.  Immature managers flock to their favorite people through inappropriate jokes and remarks.  Mature managers evenly allow feedback, conflicting opinions, and discussions among all subordinates, allowing group decisions to be made.  Leaders influence others and delegate to those they trust can do the job.  Know the type of person in position you report to and determine if you stand a chance of being able to change the perception.  Do not become the person that participates in inappropriate jokes and remarks.  Move on!  If open discussions really do not result in your feedback, look elsewhere for your next opportunity.  Simply put if you do not report to a leader, it is time to move on!

If you can change their views of you, a chance remains to increase the raise and get the promotion.  But sometimes you have to sit back and observe to determine if you really want to be a part of a dysfunctional organization.  The grass may not be greener on the other side but at least you can have peace of mind.  And that is priceless regardless of the beholder. 

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