Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Breaking the status bubble, part of New Manager Fundamentals.
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When you're promoted to a new level in your career, you have to be sensitive to your new status. Status at work is tricky. On the one hand, you can't physically see it, on the other hand it's real and people react very strongly to it. I'd like to refer to is as the status bubble. You're status surrounds you and often makes it more challenging to interact with you. For the context of this video, I'd like you to concentrate on the relationship between you and your team. Now that you've been promoted, believe me, even if you feel like the same person, to them you've changed.
You've assumed a higher status. Like it or not, your promotion removes you from them and some will now view communicating and relating to you as more challenging compared to before you were promoted. The mere fact that you're now the boss often makes them hesitate more and censor more for fear of not meeting your expectations or not pleasing you. Even if you're the nicest person in the world, that is the affect of status. Your job is to attack the status bubble. Consider these tactics.
First, don't allow your new status to become the elephant in the room. Openly discuss it with your team at least once. Tell them you're excited about the new role and that just because you've been promoted, they shouldn't hesitate to speak up and talk with you whenever they feel it's necessary. Next, occasionally seek feedback about how you're doing. Your new role will require you to give them feedback, both formally through the employee evaluation process and informally through daily conversations. To reduce the status bubble, show that you want to know what they think about you as the new boss.
Once in a while, ask for their thoughts and be kind and receptive in response. Listen carefully and offer a genuine thank you. Another great tactic is self-deprecating humor. To appear human and approachable, few things work as well as making fun of yourself. Think about the errors you've made at work. The unexpected embarrassing moments in your life, or something silly you once did. Find the right time every two or three months to share one of these incidents with the team. When you show that you're comfortable laughing at yourself, you become immensely more approachable.
Building bonds with your team isn't always about humor. In fact, sometimes it's just the opposite. One, surefire way to break this status bubble is to encourage debate. Many times, whether informal meetings or informal discussions, lower status employees choose to not speak up when they disagree or wish to add another thought. They often precede speaking up as a risk. Your goal is to reduce the perception of risk by positively embracing difficult, but well-intentioned discussion.
When the team sees you honestly listen and positively respond in the face of criticism or debate, they will view you as fair. As a result, you will have increased the odds of pulling more people into the conversation. One last comment, you can break the status bubble by showing genuine gratitude. It's often been said that the two most important words in business are thank and you. A thoughtful thank you comment or thank you note, when both earned and delivered sincerely can be a powerful relationship builder.
Your new role comes with a heightened status, but it doesn't have to cause unnecessary problems. Breaking the status bubble is about removing barriers to communication so that you can have the robust dialogue that creates great teams.
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- Clarifying performance expectations
- Feeding your learning curve
- Building rapport with your team
- Explaining your decision-making style
- Increasing your authenticity
- Communicating proactively
- Knowing when to have a meeting and who should attend
- Coping successfully with your transition<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.