Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
Have you ever sat with a board of directors, asked them why they spent a stupid amount of money on a computer system they didn’t need and then watched them all squirm and pass the buck?
No? I have. About 25 years ago.
My colleague almost fainted when I asked them and although it was a logical and relevant question, it was totally unfeeling and crassly asked.
But hey, I was young and confident and full of my own sense of right and wrong.
It would have been more helpful if I’d had any awareness of my own personal public relations though. I’m sure if I’d had a PR advisor in the room she would have been weeping at the glaring ineptitude of her client and wondering if now was the right time to quit her profession and do something less stressful, such as juggling knives.
Massively humiliating and irritating a whole board of directors takes a bit of doing and I was fearless in the doing of it. And, of course, spectacularly naive.
It goes without saying that, in due course, my role was made redundant and I left to spend more time with my family. Such is the price of PR ineptitude.
Personal PR is worth taking into account when we think of our performance at work. We can do this with a quick self audit, that runs thus:
Do we tend to smile or scowl at people?
Do we share our successes with our boss?
Do we thank our boss for giving us interesting work?
Do we ask useful questions, in order to move the problem to a good outcome? Or do we grandstand and make people look silly?
Do we take part in groups and committees?
Do we sulk when given extra work, or do we discuss priorities and capacity instead?
Is our reputation that of a grumbler, or someone who is supportive of continuous improvement?
When was the last time we spent time enquiring about colleagues and showing genuine interest in their issues? Or do we tend to be aloof and disinterested?
If we had to give ourselves up to 20 points, total, for all of the above, what would an honest score be, and what is one thing we can do more of, or be more self aware of?
Personal PR is not about sucking up tp the great powers in a vacuous, or manipulative way. It’s about being thoughtful, positive and friendly.
If we have doubts, or concerns, we can ask careful and polite questions.
If we need to discuss something important we can ask for a friendly conversation, instead of charging in with guns blazing.
If we want to be well thought of and get on in our roles we can all pause for a moment and think of just how good our personal PR is at work and how we can improve it.
Humiliating a board may be fun in the moment, but in the argo of business coaches, like myself, it’s a ‘career limiting move’ at best, and a ‘career terminating move’ at worst.
Be nice to people. Smile and the world smiles back. A cliche for sure and yet one worth holding on to.
We can all have a great week improving our personal PR! Have fun!
Next week: How To Make A Mistake Well
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