Recently I was facilitating my flagship workshop “The WHO, WHAT & HOW of High-Performance Teamwork” with a senior leadership team of 12 people.
Attending the workshop was the Assistant who had liaised with me prior to the event. At the end of the day, she came up to me and thanked me personally and mentioned that being on the workshop had been a surprise to her, as she was “just the Assistant.”
I took her to one side, finding a private place to have a chat with her. I asked, “Why do you feel that you are just the Assistant?” She replied, “Well, all I have done is arrange this event.”
It was at this point that I shared my perspective with her on the skills and competencies that I had seen her demonstrate:
Time Management: She had managed 12 leader’s diaries and also mine, to book a date when everyone was available.
Planning: She had researched venues to find one suitable for the event.
Negotiation: She had negotiated an acceptable price with the venue, to deliver what was required in terms of space, refreshments and equipment.
Risk Management: The original date that was chosen to deliver the workshop, had to be changed to another date, due to a strategic issue that had arisen. However, she already had future contingency dates, which she then put into action.
Stakeholder Management: She had liaised with the venue, myself and the Leadership Team, to ensure that everyone’s needs were covered. On the day, she checked-in a number of times with people, to ensure their needs were being met.
Communication: She had been the main channel for communication between myself and the Leadership Team, ensuring everyone knew the objectives of the event, pre-work required, the details of the venue and timings.
Team-building: She had organised a social meal for the team after the workshop, so they could continue to bond as a group in a social setting.
Decision-making: She had made a lot of decisions independently, based on her own knowledge, experience and authority.
We reviewed the above and I posed the question, “Aren’t these the skills and attributes of a leader?” A big smile spread across her face and she replied “I suppose they are.”
In addition to the above, as she was the Assistant to the CEO, she was privy to more strategic information than the majority of the Leadership Team, therefore at meetings talked knowledgeably and shared her ideas with the rest of the Leadership Team.
A couple of weeks later, she said contacted me, letting me know that, based on the results of their Team DyNAmics Report, she had suggested a number of practical ideas that had been accepted for implementation, to help the team work more effectively together. What a fantastic result for both her and the team!
Some people hide their light under a bushel, even though they have some incredibly valuable inter-personal and technical skills, knowledge and experience. They add lots of value to their teams however prefer others to notice and appreciate what they do, rather than mention it themselves. Unfortunately, in a lot of instances, this sees them overlooked when it comes to future opportunities that arise.
So, what can you do if you are one of those people who struggles to blown their own trumpet?
Well a good place to start is to make a note of any achievements or things you have accomplished. If you are able, link them to your job roles and responsibilities and note those which are above and beyond what you are normally expected to do.
Also jot down both the inter-personal competencies and technical skills you have used to achieve them.
At least then, at your personal development appraisal, when your boss asks you what you’ve achieved in the last quarter, you won’t sit there with your mind going blank.
If you have any tips that you feel would help others, I’d love to hear from you.
Wishing you continued happiness and success in both work and life.
Yours behaviourally, Nick
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In addition, do have a look at the other articles that have been posted, as there are some great team-building activities and other personal development articles.
Photo: “Solitude” was taken by myself at The Pulpit Rock, Portland Bill. If you like it, do check out my portfolio on Unsplash, where you can download and use the high-quality photos, royalty-free. Here is the link to my portfolio, Nick Fewings On Unsplash.