Today's question from Jillian (and answered by Lynn Conway on Sept 21st) :
“From your personal experience, what have you found to be the top factors in determining whether you were successful or not in a new workplace environment? Give an example."
I always felt that openness was critical in any new workplace environment. Humans just don't do well with uncertainty and so when someone that they felt they knew walks in and tells them they were incorrect in their assumptions about them - everything gets tossed up. Such uncertainty leads to confusion, inattentiveness and distraction – these lead to lower productivity and that is something that an employer does not want to see.
At work we have taken a corporate wide effort to have managers and others explain why they make the decisions they make. It helps everyone out when they understand the underlying reasons – even if they don’t agree with them. The same for my transition eight years ago. Like Lynn discussed, I ensure I had support of senior management by explaining to them what was going on and my underlying reasons. In some cases they explained it, with their emphasis, to their subordinates and sometimes I did. But always I was open and willing to talk about it when the opportunity was appropriate.
In the intervening years I supposed I’ve had the conversations with hundreds of our thousands of employees – many who work for me today. In the programs and projects I manage, I use this philosophy constantly and have a higher performing team because of it. Being open and honest and discussing the difficulties and challenges that we face or anticipate facing makes us a better team – and each of us better employees and better individuals.
Feel free to post a reply of your own by going to “My Page”, clicking on “My Blog” and then “Add New Blog Post” at the top right. I now toss the question to Jamison Green, who will post a reply.