Sometimes people don’t tell us what they think about our ideas and prefer to be nice rather than having an uncomfortable conversation with us. I get that. I’ve done that many times in my life too.
It’s easier to agree and say nice things rather than get into a conversation where you have to explain your true thoughts that may end up hurting them.
It’s too much trouble than its worth. But is it really?
I believe if we came from a position of mutual respect, we could listen and learn from others to gain the benefit of their perspective and unique experiences. It’s a pity that what happens instead is we voice our “polite niceties” and in the process, end up hurting ourselves and others. For them, they may miss out on an opportunity for a new insight or idea. For you, you may feel that your own voice and experiences go unacknowledged or discounted so you end up feeling resentful.
However, in this day and age with social networks, we are now given a platform of which we can share our knowledge, experiences and stories. These platforms (whether enterprise or public) give us a voice. They’re the perfect way to show and share your work, thinking, projects, learning – whatever – and in the process connect with other people across our organisations or the world, who are interested in what we’re doing because we give them ideas and insights that they can apply in their own work.
Too often when we are in organisations we feel like we’re another cog in the wheel – and that our day to day work goes unnoticed by our team members and our managers except during performance reviews.
So how do we get feedback to show us that what we’re doing in our work actually helps and is valued by our fellow employees and our organisations?
For employees in organisations, one way is to start using your enterprise social network to show and share the process of your work and to do that consistently over time.
However, this comes with a warning. Don’t expect that people will respond, reply, like or even interact with you online in the first instance because you have to build their trust.
That’s okay. Don’t give up.
Keep sharing consistently every day or week and tell people what you’re working on, how it helps the organisation, what win you’ve had and what you have learned or will do differently next time.
The trick is that you have to be consistent.
Over time, you will notice that this feedback will come to you in different ways and it is more than likely NOT to come from your own team members and your team manager. In fact, it will come from people across your business (and if you’ve been sharing publicly, across the world).
Think of that. Your work has gone beyond the confines of your own small team. It’s gone across your organisation or the WORLD.
This feedback could be in the forms of:
- A personal message of thanks by email from someone who read a post you wrote that resonated with them and an explanation of how they used your idea to solve a business problem
- A personalised message to connect on LinkedIn because they met you at a conference and over coffee, you mentioned something that they liked and want to learn more which as a result set up a new partnership between you and your business.
- A comment from someone in another department whom you’ve never met who knows your work because they look forward to reading what you share every day and how they share your posts to their team members because they’re informative and helped them improve some processes.
- Meeting someone for the first day and them exclaiming that they finally meet you in person because they had heard about you from another third party
- A new job opportunity or business leads that come from someone because they wanted to find a person with a specific skill set and they recalled a post you had written about those skills.
So next time you’re at your performance review time with your manager who asks you to state your case for improving your review scores and why you should have that bonus, here’s the evidence you give of how you gave the benefit of your knowledge and experience to create true business value.
A true social manager or leader wouldn’t need to ask you the above question because they would have seen the value of your work online through your posts and the sharing of your work. However many managers are simply not users of social networks themselves and therefore don’t have this oversight. It will be up to you to show them this and the evidence of your value to the business will come from your wider network. They can’t argue with this.
So which are you ready to do?
Want to try and make an argument (yet again) that falls on deaf ears and fight the ongoing constant battle of telling your manager that what you do is important?
Or, show them evidence of true business impact you created for your organisation because your work has touched all parts of the business and created value to others?
I know which I’d rather do.