Solutions to help you grow…
When someone asks you what a friend or co-worker does, what do you say?
“Oh, she’s in sales.”
“He’s an accountant.”
“She does the billing.”
If someone from another department sticks their nose in on one of your projects, do you think “What does he know? He’s an (Insert Label).”
Why do we try to put everyone else in a box? Equally important, why do we let others box us in?
When speaking at seminars or to college students, I often talk about how the ‘Unboxable’ types seem to be the happiest and most successful people I know. They do their thing (actually ‘things’) well and enjoy doing it. They don’t allow others to limit or label them.
Their strategy works because they and pretty much everyone else are more complex than one label from work. You might be a son or daughter, friend, team member or leader, parent, volunteer, etc. Yet in the workplace, we are supposed to stay in our own little box. Worse yet, some people wouldn’t want to venture outside of their box even if they could.
If you’re one of those bosses or co-workers putting labels on others, you’re missing out on some of the resources (free resources) available to you. Ask for input and actively listen to the responses. You’ll benefit from both the good ideas and the goodwill created.
For those who have been afraid or reluctant to step out of their comfort zone, take a chance. You’re not just in PR, Customer Service, or Billing, you have a unique perspective that can benefit your company. Communicate with peers, bosses, customers, and vendors. Make them aware of the ideas you have to improve your company’s products, services, and processes.
When you do move outside of your so-called box, be patient and beware. Some people will be uncomfortable with the new you because of their own self-esteem issues. Offer the suggestions and creative ideas anyway. You might end up being labeled differently and eventually, those good ideas will be recognized.
David M. Mastovich, MBA, is the president of Massolutions, a Pittsburgh based Integrated Marketing firm that focuses on improving the bottom line for client companies through creative marketing, selling, messaging and customer experience enhancement.