~ Colin Powell ~
Increase your personal development and career potential as you master these areas of communication with your boss. Great communication demonstrates growth and maturity. Poor communication sabotages your advancement. Eliminate these words and the values they illustrate and see your influence and recognition rise.
1. “It was nothing.” “No big deal.” When you can’t accept a compliment, you show a lack of confidence in yourself. After all, if you don’t think it’s a good job, why should anyone else? When your boss compliments you, don’t denigrate yourself. He is praising your skills and accomplishments. Own them. Sometimes people down-play their achievements due to a false sense of modesty. If you want to move your career forward, accept these compliments with graciousness. Say “Thank you.” Smile.
2. “Well, I emailed you about that a week ago.” This statement tells your boss you think that once it’s off your desk, it’s no longer your responsibility. It also suggests criticism of her for not finding it and reading it. Taking personal responsibility for your career development means you follow up. If you need feedback, send a gentle reminder. Remember, email is not the only form of communication. Pick up the phone and call… or walk down the hall and talk to the boss in person. It takes more effort, but this stretch shows you take responsibility.
3. Sigh. You might deny it, but both you and your boss know that sighs can say 50 different things… most of them not good. It might mean frustration, a feeling of over work, disgust that you’re forced to work with someone, do something, be somewhere you don’t like. Because you’re focused on improving yourself, watch how many times you sigh and ask yourself what caused them. If necessary, use positive communication to express your thoughts.
4. “Not my problem.” People looking to improve their careers can’t be perceived as lazy or uncaring. In reality, if it’s your boss’s problem, it becomes your problem. Your job description includes a range of flexibility and your willingness to go the extra mile will go a long way in impressing the boss.
5. “That’s not the way we did it last time.” Traditions and ruts may indicate to your superiors that you’re not ready to take on different or innovative tasks. In this changing economy, companies seek new ways to improve the bottom line. They look for employees willing to come on board with that.
6. “I just bought a Ferrari.” Your boss is not all that concerned with your personal life. Nor is he likely to be impressed if you have something bigger and better than he does. Keep personal things out of the office. When conversations focus on business tasks, you’re more likely to be perceived as advancement material.
7. “Is this the best they could do?” Whether it’s the new copy machine or the holiday bonus, criticizing the company’s policy or decisions will not make a good impression. You might be viewed as feeling entitled. If you can’t influence a decision or solve a problem, save your breath and focus on what will help you add value to the company…and your career.
Good communications require personal development and increasing maturity. Think before you speak. Make sure what you say reflects your best values and you will increase your chances to grow your career to greater heights.
Joel Garfinkle helps up and coming leaders understand specific steps to increase their personal development and advance their career potential. . Contact Joel now to learn how he can move your career forward. Or check out his newest book Getting Ahead.
Talkback: What phrases have you heard that are career killers? Have you seen the results of bad communication, or do you have an example of masterful communication?
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