I subscribe to a lot of internet quote services in an attempt at find good material for this career success blog. The other day a quote from Indira Gandhi popped up in my inbox…
“My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.”
Pretty good life and career success advice. Tweet 137 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Do your job, give credit to others for doing theirs. Everyone likes to work with people who share the credit for a job well done.”
The quote from Indira Gandhi and the tweet remind me of something I saw on About.com by Susan Heathfield called,” Play Well With Others at Work.” Successful, interpersonally competent people build strong relationships with the people with whom they work – this involves both working and playing well with others at work. Here is an edited version of what Ms. Heathfield had to say about playing well with others at work.
These are the top seven ways you can play well with others at work. They form the basis for effective work relationships. These are the actions you want to take to create a positive, empowering, motivational work environment for people.
- Suggest solutions to the problems you identify and raise. Identifying problems is easy. People who provide thoughtful solutions to the problems and challenges they raise earn the respect and admiration of their coworkers and bosses.
- Don’t ever play the blame game. You alienate everyone around you. Yes, you may need to identify who was involved in a problem. You may even ask the Deming question: what about the work system caused this failure? But, not taking responsibility for problems you create and publicly identifying and blaming others for failures creates enemies. These enemies will, in turn, help you to fail. Interpersonally competent people realize that they need allies at work.
- What you say and what you do matters. When you talk down to someone, use sarcasm, or sound nasty, other people are likely to hear you. We are all radar machines that constantly scope out our environment. In one organization a high level manager said to me, “I know you don’t think I should scream at my employees. But, sometimes, they make me so mad. When is it appropriate for me to scream at the employees?” Answer? Never. This goes for people who aren’t in leadership positions too. It’s never appropriate to raise your voice to a colleague or coworker.
- Never blind side people. Interpersonally competent people keep their colleagues in the loop. They discuss problems with the people directly involved before discussing them with others. Interpersonally competent people do not ambush others. They know that if they do, they will never build effective work alliances. And without alliances, you never accomplish the most important goals.
- Keep your commitments. When you fail to meet deadlines and commitments, you affect the work of other people. Always keep commitments, and if you can’t, make sure the affected people know what happened. Provide a new due date and honor the new deadline.
- Share credit for accomplishments, ideas, and contributions. It’s very rare to accomplish a goal or complete a project with no help from others. Take the time, and expend the energy, to thank, reward, recognize and specify contributions of the people who help you succeed. This is a no-fail approach to building effective work relationships.
- Help other people find their greatness. Every person has talents, skills, and experience. If you help people harness their best abilities, you benefit them and your organization immeasurably. Personal growth and development benefits everybody. Compliment, recognize, praise, and notice contributions. You don’t have to be a manager to help create a positive, motivating environment.
If you carry out these seven actions regularly – especially number 6, “Share credit for accomplishments, ideas and contributions,” you will become known as someone who plays well with others. You’ll develop effective work relationships. You’ll become interpersonally competent. Colleagues will value you. Bosses will believe you are a team player. You’ll accomplish your work goals, become a career success — and you may even experience fun, recognition, and personal motivation. Work can’t get any better than that.
The career success coach advice here is simple common sense. Successful people follow the career advice in Tweet 137 in Success Tweets. “Do your job; give credit to others for doing theirs. Everyone likes to work with people who share the credit for a job well done.” Pay attention to Susan Heathfield’s advice when she says, “Share credit for accomplishments, ideas, and contributions. It’s very rare to accomplish a goal or complete a project with no help from others. Take the time, and expend the energy, to thank, reward, recognize and specify contributions of the people who help you succeed. This is a no-fail approach to building effective work relationships.” Or, as Indira Gandhi says, “My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.” If you follow this career advice, you’ll be on your way to not only building strong work relationships, but to the life and career success you deserve.
That’s my career advice on building strong relationships and your career success by doing your job well and sharing credit with others. What do you think? Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment. As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.
PS: If you haven’t already done so, you can download a free copy of my latest career success book Success Tweets Explained. It’s a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail. Go to http://budurl.com/STExp to claim your free copy. You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.