Is It Egotistical to Quantify Your Contribution?

Contribution is KeyPicture This…

You are part of a team that exceeded their targets. You’re proud of your contribution and your ability to work with well with others. You know without a shred of doubt that you carried a significant share of the workload. For many employees, it is enough to know that you contributed to the collective outcome and helped everyone get a performance bonus.

One director outlined how her team increased their revenues by 22%. When asked what that is in dollars, she said, “I don’t know, give me a calculator.” Her face registered surprise when she realized it was $4.5 million dollars.

Have you ever examined your actions to see what specifically and how specifically your contribution moved things along?  Daily we hear stories where a customer company closes the door to a long term supplier. If you had a relationship that enabled your firm to get back into a quoting position and your team won the business, what’s the value to the overall results? You’re pleased you helped regain the business, but can you quantify the value of the connection you caused to happen?

What if your realization that a casual connection you had to a key influencer, was an opportunity? You brought this to your leader’s attention, and a small group strategized about next steps. As a result of your relationship reopening the door, your firm regained the business. It can seem like a small step yet it had a huge impact.

If that door hadn’t opened, what would have been the consequences to your team?

How do you determine your contribution? The best way is to look at the journey this deal travelled and identify the key intersections where the project advanced. Think of planning meetings where the desired next steps were discussed. Did your efforts in any way contribute to those being achieved?

So often the credit goes to the person who negotiated the deal yet there are many steps required before your firm’s negotiator gets to sit across from the buyers.

In lean organizations, there are opportunities for a crucial action to turn the tide. It is common to focus on the ‘we’; however, you need to dive deeper into the details to determine your contribution and consider the ‘I.’ It can be simple or profound, what matters most is that it keeps the business moving.

When you are aware of senior management mindsets and what concerns them most, you can offer perspectives, connections or actions that bring value. When you can identify the steps and crucial intersections in the journey, your input at meetings will be respected and influence outcomes.

Is it egotistical to quantify your contribution?  Not at all, however you may need to get used to the idea of defining where the credit belongs. You have probably worked in an organization where others took credit for your efforts, or people missed the ‘real intersection’ that turned things around.

It is great to get appreciation and recognition from your co-workers. However, this demanding pace is here to stay. Wouldn’t it be more valuable to identify what is personally helping you to make a difference?

Quantifying your contribution will affect the way you present your ideas, position your thoughts, ask questions and influence others thinking. When you know why you are competent, it is evident in how you position what you say. Positioning is much more effective than bragging.

Confidence comes with competence, and competence builds from contribution. Why not put a value to your contribution efforts?  Here’s a process to get you thinking about your contribution. Examine results that stand out for you and reflect on the journey that was taken to get there:

  • What specifically did you do?
  • How specifically did you contribute?
  • What was the value, tangible or intangible, that kept the business moving?
  • Were your efforts noticed or ignored?
  • Did others comment openly in meetings or behind the scenes?
  • Did anyone ever share privately, that you should have received credit?
  • What can you learn from this situation?
  • What will you do differently next time?

Would quantifying your contribution enhance your reputation in any way?

Perhaps you would like to quantify your efforts better.  On Wednesday evenings at 9 pm ET, I coach participants through these situations. If you would like to join the call please optin through this link:

 http://www.askcorporate.ca/weekly-coaching-call.html

Photo credit:  Deposit Photos

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An Irritating Person Got Under My Skin – How Do I Turn It Off?

Irritating Person Got Under My SkinPicture this

Thursday you had a discussion with a coworker who is not one of your favorite people. You have shared responsibility for a project and are working closely together. You managed to work out details of what’s to be done next, but you found the discussion irritating. You have spent the entire weekend rehashing the festering irritation in your mind.

While most things don’t get under your skin, this situation just won’t go away.

Why is it so irritating?  

Reflecting on the conversation you realize that your views weren’t respected, and some of your ideas dismissed. You are unused to this kind of treatment from your coworkers. And it is especially galling from this particular person. Plus you have wasted a good weekend because you couldn’t push it out of your mind.

Instant, intense reactions are rarely about a current situation. When you go from 0-60 you are caught up in the past. Something they have said or the way they said it had triggered a memory that flashes into your mind as if it was yesterday.

During our shaping years, we absorb views and preferences from our experiences – the successes and setbacks.  As well, the influencers in our lives who helped us resolve adversity, encouraged us to build character by pushing through difficult situations, and supported us while we dusted ourselves off when we were down helped to shape our views too. Each of us have a few vulnerabilities, and when triggered they can feel like a dentist’s drill hitting a nerve.

We can’t go back and change the way life unfolded.  However, when triggered today you can reflect to find out what it’s connected to and where the intensity started.  

Why is it so intense?

Only you have that answer. The sooner you name what it is or who it reminds you of, the more ability you have to turn the insight into useful self awareness. Sometimes it is a private matter to deal with internally. With today’s work pressures and diverse relationships, it’s a given that you will be triggered again. Self awareness will enable you to turn an unexpected reaction into an appropriate response.

Why lose another weekend?  

Invest time in discerning whether you felt disrespected, or the other person’s behavior was disrespectful. There is quite a difference.  When someone’s words hit a nerve, it’s up to you to determine why it has affected you emotionally.  If it is deliberate on their part, then communication techniques can help you handle disrespectful behavior.

How to turn it off in one to two hours?

  1. Download: When someone says something that gets under your skin and it sticks in your mind like dog doo on a shoe – download it. Put your thoughts and feelings to paper or keyboard.
  2. Container: Intense emotions need feedback. Let the voices that are conversing in your head spill into a container other than your body. A notebook, tablet or computer. Trust that you will know when they are finished chattering.
  3. Questions: Give yourself some distance then return and ask a few final questions so you can pull the awareness and insight from your download.  Something as simple as ‘What’s the message in this for me?’ or more specific once you get clear on what was triggered.

You have more control than you think.  Use these three steps the next time, and you will have a better weekend.

When is the last time someone got under your skin? 

How did you handle it?

Perhaps you are struggling with a trigger situation that you would like help to handle differently. On Wednesday evenings at 9 pm ET I coach participants through these situations.  If you would like to join the call please optin through this link:

http://www.askcorporate.ca/weekly-coaching-call.html

 

Attribution:  Deposit Photos

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Welcome to a new blog

As an executive coach and workshop leader my focus is on management behaviors.

Management practices are entering a new era. In a future that is coming at you fast,   past successes will not have immunized you from having to deal with the new fundamentals. ‘Booster shots’ are essential. They will be in the form of active learning on many levels. Continue reading

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