Saturday, 23 January 2016

How Did You Make Them Feel?

It is that time of the year when our year end appraisals at office are done, and we are waiting with bated breath for the announcement of potential hikes and bonuses and perhaps promotions. When you look back at the year and recount all the work you have done for your organization, you are overcome with mixed feelings.

You know there have been days when you have put in long hours at work and gotten home in the middle of the night. Some of us have not gone home at all, spending the entire night at work. We have had hundreds of mugs of coffee - decaf for some, extra strong for some others. We have slapped water on our faces to keep us awake when all we wanted to do was get some good night's rest in our cozy beds at home. We have argued with colleagues to get our work approved, lobbied to senior management to get our stuff recognized, mentored new joiners so they don't flee the crazy corporate world at the first sight of a challenge.

You think again and realize that you haven't been all that effective all this while. You have had days when you did nothing but spend all your time on online shopping sites, buying things your house has no space for. You have bought flights and hotel rooms for the entire year, not thinking once if you'll get those many leaves. You have used office chat to flirt with that cute guy on the floor and share random jokes with your office friends. You have even dozed off during long meetings and conference calls.

You think of all this, and get incredibly scared. Will you be the next one to get laid off? Will you have to take a pay-cut? Will you get poor projects in the coming months? Will that inexperienced bloke who joined after you did snatch your promotion from you? I cannot help you with what has already happened. But there is something you can do to better your chances next year!

How do you make people feel at office?

Instead on solely focusing on your hard deliverables, put some thought on the soft deliverables also. Your impact at office depends more on how people perceive you and your work, and less on what you actually do. Trust me on this. I have seen random people climb the corporate ladder because their bosses have liked how they handled a particular situation or kept their calm through a difficult project. For everything you cannot actually do, you can always learn. If you or your team are not equipped for something, you can outsource that piece of work. But you cannot outsource soft skills. That has to be developed within.

The next time you finish a task, ask for feedback. Don't let people go without getting a note from them on how they felt about your work. Do not sit still after you have accomplished a goal. Talk to your manager about it. She will remember how serious you are about your career when you are consistent. Logging a story on your annual performance portal won't quite have the same effect.

Make a resolution this year to focus on how you make people feel. You will have tackled 50% of the problem just like that!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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