Climbing higher, the corporate ladder becomes increasingly smaller. Positions become more competitive, and office politics play an even larger role than we first imagined them.
Good Things Come to Those Who Wait?
Waiting for your supervisor to approach you about the next promotion or raise works well in situations where seniority on the job determines benefits and title. As you’ve found in your current career, waiting longer than another co-worker is not always rewarding while climbing the “ladder.” We ask ourselves, “I’ve done just as much, if not more work than them, what do they have that I don’t?”
What do they have that I don’t?
If your coworkers are the ones acquiring that new position, or receiving a “verbal warning” over an issue that you would have been fired over; then please follow closely. The way they are interacting with co-workers and the supervisors differ in small ways.
You’ll find that the conversations you have use rules from your own past conversations and experiences.α These “conversation rules” are titled the coordinated management of meaning (CMM). Since we all have different experiences we may view the same words in a different way. Take this conversation for example:
Supervisor: Please come into my office. [Good, I got the ball rolling.]
Employee: Okay. [oh no, what did I do wrong?]
Supervisor: Here is your evaluation. As you can see, there are a couple areas where I’m asking for some improvement. [ I am being a good supervisor and conducting this meeting very well.]
Employee: I see. I’d like to have some time to read your comments more carefully. May I get back to you in a few days? [What a jerk. She is completely off-base, I’ll just put it off and she’ll forget about it all.]
Supervisor: Of course, why don’t you take the weekend to look it all over? [Well, he is certainly being cooperative. That worked well!]
Employee: Okay, thank you, see you later. [I sure showed her]
The Supervisor approaches the interaction from her conversation rules as a “good supervisor.” Likewise, the Employee used conversation rules from his experiences of “doing something wrong.”
During this particular interaction the Employee communicated a coordinated response that gained nothing. Chances are this happened to you, just as it has to dozens of clients who wonder…
How Do I Turn This Into a Good Situation?
In his book Seven Habits for Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey stresses to, “Begin with the end in mind.” Defining the end by first defining for yourself what outcome you want and what conversation “rules” that pictured outcome needs. If you want to be a good manager, think in the terms and rules of a good manager.
Unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every supervisor. However, every manager, supervisor, and leader need someone that they are able to depend on, which usually means playing by the same rules they use themselves.
Does your manager focus on “synergy?” Does your team lead supervisor focus on “the team mission?” Determining how they lead their followers is a great indication of who they want to follow, depend upon, and promote today.
By matching communication rules style with their managers, many clients gain enough rapport and credibility to present their good qualities and gain the next promotion or raise within a week. It takes time to change the rules of the conversation once they are set up, don’t be discouraged.
Consistent actions yields consistent results, if we do the same thing now, we’ll get the same result. To receive a different outcome, first change your own coordinated response. The best bet, as you’re reading anyways, read how to play your part in the conversation & change your results for the better today.
α Pearce, W. Barnett, & Jeremy Kearney, eds. “Coordinated Management of Meaning; Extensions and Applications.” Special issue, Human Systems 15. nos. 1-3, 2004.