Do You Realize The Influence You HaveAuthor: Byron Pulsifer, © 2011
Are you guilty of holding someone back from accomplishing, or doing, or developing as they should, or could? Good Question, isn't it?
Maybe you have been in a role that influences other people and your actions and behaviours are stopping someone from being the person they can be, or maybe you are influencing them to the point where they question their own ability to succeed.
Now, there are several examples that come to mind. Let's take a parent, for example, who has a child or number of children. If one or both parents are the type of individuals who encourage children to develop and not only give them opportunity to do so, but are active with encouraging words and behaviours, then you are in a positive and helpful mode. But, what if, by design or unconsciously, you are stemming the growth and development of children or maybe only one of your children. Would you recognize if you were doing this? Would you change if you did realize that you are hindering, not helping?
Several years ago, I had to replace a receptionist for my unit. Before I advertised for the position, I was approached by another manager, within the same division, and asked if I would consider a transfer from his staff instead of opening a new competition. My natural question was to ask who he wanted me to consider and why?
His response not only surprised me, but also made me a little apprehensive to accept this transfer. Here is the reason why.
I was told that the employee had been causing a number of problems both from a work standard perspective and from a personal relationship viewpoint. It appeared from his description of this employee that she was having a lot of problems performing her duties, and had difficulties on a personal basis with her supervisor, and did not appear to respond to any attempts he, the manager, had made to resolve the issues. Now, after listening to his explanation, I really had severe doubts. What crossed my mind, after this discussion, was that he wanted me to take a performance problem off his hands. Do you think I came down with the last rain shower? Why would I want to assume anyone else's problem?
I told him I would think about it and would let him know the next day. As promised, after thinking more about this potential performance issue, I decided that, because a colleague asked me, I would agree speak with her privately before I made any decision.
And, what I found out during this interview, gave me food for thought. As it turned out after speaking with her for over an hour, was that the performance issue appeared to result from working for a supervisor who never extended a good morning greeting, never gave a word of encouragement, relished in finding fault, and was constantly changing the work load and its priority. The end result was a totally devastated employee who was insecure, hated to see a new work day start, and who had contemplated quitting every day before she went to work.
Now, I wasn't naïve enough to think that I couldn't be fooled, but the look on her face, the trembling hands, and the agitated manner in which she spoke led me to believe she was being truthful. I decided to accept her transfer to unit. What started out as a shy, withdrawn and frightened employee turned out to be one of the most productive and loyal employee's I ever had the privilege of working with. She couldn't do enough and was constantly asking for more and for more responsibility. I was more than happy to give her what she needed - praise for work well done, respect as a person, and encouragement to excel in anything she tackled.
Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy in that we can hold ourselves back from accomplishing what we should, and being guilty of undermining our own worth to the company or organization we work for. But, we can also adversely affect those around us whether we choose to act like arrogant and uncaring people, or think we know everything, or by setting unrealistic expectations, or by refusing to encourage others as if a positive remark would belittle our own status. It may be a wise notion that we all look in the mirror, from time to time, to see what we are really like.
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