I'm of that age. I'm a boss. A friend of other bosses.
I hear both sides now. The employees (like me) who are struggling for direction, recognition, growth. And, the bosses (also like me) wanting to feel confident in their staff, hoping for always-improving performance.
But, somehow, the two sides rarely seem to clearly communicate. To define, mentor, move forward.
So, for all you fellow white-collar employees out there, I share with you four lessons - learned on both sides of the fence - that represent the traits of an indispensable employee:
- Never be silent in a meeting. You're there for a reason. Participate. Add value. Take notes.
- Always build trust. Demonstrate that you understand the business - the entire business, not just your department - and your boss's painpoints. Take actions that show you're a responsive steward of the business, the brand and your boss's sanity.
- Keep generating ideas. New ideas. Fresh perspectives. Not just words/pictures/projects/research or whatever the details of your job description mandate.
- Learn to read a room. Nothing will get you farther in business than empathy. Stop talking when eyes glaze. Offer solutions when brows crease. Pay attention to all the nonverbal feedback coming your way and act on it.