The Medium IS the Message

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about boss’s – and asked if anyone knew how you can help make a great boss – which really means how to have a Successful Career. No, we are not talking about that tired, old (but unfortunately still sometimes true) stereotype of doing the boss’ work and having your hard efforts passed of as the boss’ work. We are talking about how to work together to create a great team/department/business – so everyone can get ahead. The main ingredient? Communication! Yes, this does mean you both must communicate – honestly, tactfully, and supportive/respectful of each other’s position.

The idea here is to communicate both good and bad. If something or some event may become a problem – let each other know before the problem actually has a chance to blow up. If work efforts on a project resulted in increased sales or performance, let the other person that too!

Feel overloaded and overworked? Let your boss know you need help on some projects to guarantee deadlines are met on a timely basis while ensuring quality of work is maintained. Don’t forget to convey this is a temporary situation (if it is) – and if it isn’t (you are too overworked) see if you can come up with potential solutions. Feel some workers aren’t pulling their weight? Talk to the individuals separately and see if there are any tools the employee might need to help each complete the projects. You might even want to hold a team meeting and decide on each member’s contribution for a project.

Communication isn’t just about words. Think your department/team did a great job on that last project? Reward them with a pizza lunch or even just bring in donuts (a nice veggie tray works great, too!). Your boss has never bought anything for the department? Don’t be afraid to suggest to the boss a token reward might be nice to compliment the team. Or do it yourself – hey, you ARE part of the team – and donuts are a fairly inexpensive way to say “thanks” to your other team members. If even donuts are a bit much, just bringing in some sort of candy (in bulk, or pre-wrapped, individual candy or chocolate) will do the trick. The idea here is not what the reward is, but that you are getting the message across you are happy with the team – and it certainly brightens anyone’s day to get a freebie.

Remember, if the boss doesn’t know there is a problem, then the problem cannot be fixed. And if you don’t tell the boss about a problem, the boss may not think there is any problem. If you don’t share the good along with the problem, then all you have is negativism – and no one wants to work in that kind of environment.