Navigating the workplace as a manager can seem scary at times, especially depending on how many people you manage or if you haven’t been a manager long. Keep these tips in mind not only today but throughout the year as you identify and develop your strengths and your employees’ strengths.
Plan for Everything, and Listen, Listen, Listen.
Like in “American Horror Story: Apocalypse,” planning is important. This season, the world has come to an end, and the human race is trying to survive. With a nuclear strike upon them, the characters soon realize that without preparation, they’ll all be out of luck.
Don’t get caught out of the loop. When setting goals, managing a new team or simply starting on a new project, proactively consider all foreseeable challenges, listen to what your employees and team members are asking or suggesting, and keep up to speed on any and all new developments. Listening is key; when you have a clear sense of direction and clear communication with team members, you can eliminate confusion early on and are better equipped to address obstacles as they arise.
Cover All Your Bases, and Conduct Extensive Research.
Take notes from John Krasinski’s character in “A Quiet Place.” Even though monsters have ended the world as he knows it, this father and husband has everything covered. He has studied the monsters, has meticulously observed their strengths and weaknesses, and continues to monitor for anyone else who may still be alive. Because of his due diligence, he’s able to protect his family at all costs.
At work, be as prepared as John. Do your research before making a recommendation to a colleague, employee or client ahead of a new project. Approach possible outcomes from all angles so you’ll have the wherewithal to answer gracefully when faced with a tough question. Knowing what to expect ahead of time will pay off in the long run.
Communicate with Your Colleagues, and Build Relationships.
In Hawkins, Indiana, strange things are happening. It is up to the four middle schoolers of the “Stranger Things” gang to figure it out. Because of their ability to work together (and with some help from an unlikely friend), the group defeats a terrifying monster from an alternate reality, but their friendship is rooted in more than just defying evil.
When you care about the people you work with, you produce better work. Meaningful relationships among co-workers don’t have to be best friendships, but making an effort to know your co-workers beyond their roles at work can go a long way toward improving office morale and boosting camaraderie. It is especially crucial when working on a tight deadline or dividing and conquering a task.
An evil spirit takes the form of a clown in the 2017 version of “It.” After 27 years of hiding, he is out to seek revenge on the kids of Derry. They must identify the demon’s weakness and take advantage of it to defeat him (for now).
When you notice that no one is addressing a potentially problematic situation, you have the opportunity to take action and propose solutions, not more problems. Check your instincts with colleagues or a manager if you must, but don’t be afraid to take initiative, especially if you’ve already done your research and planned ahead.
Keep Trying, and Try Again. If All Else Fails, Try Again.
Ultimately, in any horror situation (whether in a movie or real life), the people who come out on top have resilience. Inevitably, one of your ideas will flop, or you’ll receive criticism for something into which you’ve put a lot of time and energy. Do everything you can to make it constructive. Ask for feedback, brainstorm with colleagues or seek advice from an outside perspective. Don’t stop being creative; you never know what will help you spark an idea.