Dave has always felt that he was born for greatness, made for more; even destined to be a global icon, but he is not sure why he is stuck in the same spot, he has not been promoted in the last 4 years. To be fair to him, Dave had participated in some of the company’s most successful projects; and given great quality input; so why can’t everyone see what a fantastic employee he is? Why does he struggle so much, just to be recognized?
So, we turned to Dave’s manager for answers – Steve, who gave us some insight into Dave’s personality and the company’s perception of him. Here is what Steve had to say… “Nobody wants to work with Dave, he is nice and thoughtful and very technically sound; however, before you assign a task to Dave, he has found 10 ways to either complain about it or reasons it can’t be done. Although when you finally convince him to do the work, he does a fantastic job! The problem is – not everyone has the time to give a ‘sales pitch’ every time they assign a task, so most people generally avoid him. When assigning project teams, Dave is usually the last of the ‘draw’; mostly because he is so difficult to work with. He nags at every turn, but once he commits to an idea, his execution is flawless”
The only reason Steve is Dave’s Manager is because nobody else wants to manage him. Dave is a good guy, but his attitude sucks; he has no faith in the company and would often say as much… publicly. Steve is a very patient and pleasant employee, firm and also technically sound. Steve is not a genius, in fact, he cannot do some technical things Dave can. So why is he Dave’s Manager?
So we asked Steve’s Manager – Jane, who helped us understand the company’s perception of Steve. Steve has enjoyed a much faster career growth than Dave, and has been promoted to Team Leader, in the same amount of time it has taken Dave to go from Trainee to Senior Trainee. Steve is a great person to work with, although he does not know everything; he is always willing to learn. Steve approaches tasks with great energy and a ‘can-do-attitude’.
Steve is quick to admit when he is wrong, but rarely repeats the same mistake. He learns fast and ensures everyone on his team is carried along. Being technically sound, with a great attitude is what has worked for Steve. Every Manager wants a ‘Steve’ on their team, someone who would bring positive energy and not drain the life out; someone who is willing to learn and to teach. Someone who collaborates more than they complain.
It’s okay to express your opinions, especially because life is not all rainbows and unicorns; however, it is important to remember that perception is reality in the workplace. A negative attitude has not helped anyone. The next time you feel the urge to be negative, convert it to constructive criticism; the next time you feel the urge to publicly complain about your company or job while at work… don’t!
In a workplace where everyone is trying to stay motivated, the last thing you need is a negative attitude; spend time spreading faith. Technical skills are great, add that to a positive attitude and you have a recipe for success.