Sunday, April 15, 2012

Be Proactive - How to Get Your Organisation to Recognise Your Hidden Talent and Untapped Potential

"Be Proactive - How to Get Your Organisation to Recognise Your Hidden Talent and Untapped Potential","What can you do about it?

* Be pro-active.
 Don't just sit around becoming jaded, disillusioned, disengaged and progressively more negative.
 It is also about you taking ownership of your career and professional development.
 Alternatively, use a mentor to help you explore how you can achieve advancement in the organisation.
 A mentor can be someone senior in the organisation or someone outside the organisation.
 Before you do that, however, do some work on and with yourself.
 Be prepared to explore your weaknesses and what challenges you, as well as expounding your strengths.
 In fact it is difficult to separate the personal and the professional.
 Your coach or mentor can be a very good resource in helping you do that.
 How might my manager be seeing me? How do I come across to others? What is my work or leadership or management style? Does the way I work and interact in the organisation lead people to believe I have talent and potential? Would it lead my manager to offer me opportunities over and beyond my present work? Check this out with other people you trust will give you an honest opinion.
 Get inside the head - and shoes - of your manager and your organisation.
 Watch and listen to him/her - not just to words and actions, but to what lies underneath.
 In Stephen Covey's famous book ""The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People"", his 5th habit is: Seek First to Understand and then To Be Understood.
 You will be more realistic about what your organization can offer you in terms of developing your talent and potential.

* When you have done all that preparation, you are ready to talk with your manager and let him/her know that you want to advance in the organisation and that if opportunities arise you want to be considered for them.
 Talk with him/her about your strengths, but also where you are most challenged.
 Most importantly, listen and engage him/her.

* Gandhi once said: ""Be the change you want to see in your world.
 If you want your manager to change and to begin to recognise your talent and potential, don't wait for him/her to change and notice.
 Show your talent and potential in the organisation in as many ways as possible.
 These can also be great learning experiences.
 Working after hours on a work project that you quite consciously are doing for this reason is not much different than studying after hours for a new qualification.

* Ask if you can shadow someone in a particular role or project in your area of interest or development and learn what they do and how they do it.

* If there is a process that needs to be done on a regular basis but is always running to deadlines or done in an ad hoc manner, and is usually delegated to you by your manager, show initiative and devise a scheme to streamline the process and present it to him/her for consideration.
 The organisation may even support you in doing that by paying fees or approving study leave.
 Be engaged in the organisation at as many levels as possible.
 Attend functions where you are going to meet the people who can influence your career and development within the organization.
 People who have very good people and interpersonal skills, who can engage with the janitor, the cleaner and the receptionist just as easily as they can with board members, the CEO and executive staff, are highly sought after as leaders today.

* Develop your external networks.
 Join a subcommittee and make a real contribution.
 If your organisation doesn't recognise your talent and potential then you can guarantee someone else in your industry or professional group will and you'll be ""head-hunted"".

If you find yourself in this position, yet really would like to work for that organisation, then don't cut all ties when you move on.
 Somewhere along the line an opportunity may arise for you to return.
 You may even be invited to return.
 Once it was only schools and universities who had these.
 They have recognised the importance of maintaining contact with former employees, knowing that at some point they could rejoin their firms as valuable assets.