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An interesting call last Friday, the summary of which you may find useful.
Maria has been subscribed to the Influence Blog for several years after seeing me present at Warwick Business School. She finally decided to schedule a call to discuss a challenge that has been bothering her for a while. Afterwards, she described it as “the best discussion she’d had in years. Finally, someone who really understood what she was going through.”
And, I think there are some important points that may help you if you are in a similar position to Maria.
In a moment, I’ll share with you the suggestions I gave her, which will help her to avoid resignation. First, here are the bare bones of her story:
- She is highly capable and had been flying high with widespread sponsorship. Her performance was well respected and her career progression seemed assured.
- Then, the merger happened. Her boss exited.
- A new boss came along with a very different approach. Some would say demanding, others a tad bullying. His high standards were clear (at least to him) although that didn’t extend to his own behaviour towards others.
- Maria weathered the storm, not quite bullied, but close to it. She continued to perform well, however her confidence took a battering from the relentless demands, critique and lack of positive feedback.
- Finally, he was “moved on” and another boss came in. Early hopes of a return to favour have yet to materialise. The new boss is cold, disinterested and providing neutral/vague feedback to Maria.
- So, Maria is close to resigning, unable to get the recognition she feels is deserved. She loves her job, and works hard to get good results, but has been unable to influence the key relationships around her over the last few years.
- Right now, the grass is looking a great deal greener on the other side of her resignation letter.
Sadly, Maria’s plight is far too common. Mismatched expectations, poor leadership, limited options, all conspiring to make exciting work frustrating. And, in nearly all cases, these situations can be turned around.
Five Suggestions for Maria
I left Maria with these ideas, which start to form a plan of action that will help her to turn this around. They may also be useful to you if you are in a similar positon:
- Do whatever it takes to rebuild her confidence. It has been severely dented over the last few years and unfair criticism has been taken to heart. Maria needs to get working on her self-belief, empowering herself and standing tall again.
- Connected to this, it is vital for Maria to refresh her personal proposition, brand and reputation. What she stands for and what she can deliver for her organisation.
- Strengthening the relationship with her boss will be hard, but totally achievable if she takes the right steps. She needs to get inside his head, discover what his real agenda is, and cultivate more of a partnership feel to the way they work together.
- Reposition her contribution so that it connects strongly with her boss and their key stakeholders. Instead of trying to get them to notice her, she needs to go and stand where they are already looking.
- Finally, Maria needs to raise her positive motivation and get focused on making it happen. As she starts to put things into action, this will happen of its own accord, but the more she can do to raise her expectation that this will work, the faster she will progress.
Naturally, there will be many twists and turns along the way, but I’m delighted to say that she has decided to invest in her future with Breakthrough Influence Coaching. Which means, I’ll be able to share the story of her transformation, and return to favour, over the coming weeks and months.
If you find yourself in a similar position to Maria, or one of your clients is stuck like this, here are a few thoughts for you:
- To increase the impact you create, and build your confidence, look at Making an Impact. This quick start guide will get you moving fast. More information here.
- If you are serious about repositioning your fortunes, Building a Powerful Reputation has a huge amount of practical exercises and tutorials that you can apply to ensure you get the results you want, and make the impression that works for you. And, right now, there is a 50% discount available. More information here.
- If you’re a coach, and you’d like to see how my approach can help people in Maria’s situation, here a couple of pertinent articles: Coaching with the Stakeholder Influence Process and Influence Coaching Trap #1: Which Could Get You Sued.
- And finally, if you are interested in learning how Breakthrough Influence Coaching could help you to turn around your prospects and maximise your potential, just email us and we’ll fix up a time when we can have a quick chat. That’s what Maria did.
Colin Gautrey is an author, coach, and trainer who specialises in the practical use of power and influence in large organisations. He has 25 years’ experience helping middle/senior professionals to survive, thrive and enjoy their work.
If you are ready to develop your influencing capability, become a member of Breakthrough Influence. If you are serious about becoming highly influential, fast, engage with Colin and he will help you get there in the most effective way possible.
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