Yesterday we considered the dangers inherent when employees start thinking of themselves as an extension of the company/manager, as in ““I’m great because my company/manager is great.” instead of, “I’m great and my company/manager is great.””
Today we’ll look at why building people, as opposed to making them dependent, is a smart move and three prime things to help you do it.
People building is imperative, because reputation, both the manager’s and the company’s, is everything when hiring, and being known for your great G&S (grow and strengthen) policies and actions will help you attract, develop and keep the best and brightest.
You’ll still lose some now and then when they’re ready for the next challenge and you can’t provide it, but the benefits resulting from their ultra-high productivity and creativeness during the time they’re with you will far outweigh the loss when they do leave.
G&S isn’t rocket science, nor does it have to be costly.
Here are three basic rules to encourage G&S and discourage ego-merge.
- Treat everyone on your team and in your company with the same level of respect you want.
- Listen to your people. Encourage and assist them as much as possible in developing the skills they need to take their next step—even when it makes your life a bit more difficult.
- Always remind them that for all their successes, challenges, and failures it’s “and” not “because.”
Any manager can implement these and other strategies on her own, whether the company supports G&S or not.
However, it’s to a company’s advantage to fight ego-merge and advocate G&S through its policies, then support it by hiring managers who believe in the power of G&S.
But what if you’re a manager pushing G&S down while your own manager is either blind to it or the type who sees ego-merge as a plus?
But what can you do to avoid ego-merge as a worker with no control or leverage?
Awareness is the best protection against ego-merge. Recognize that it exists, understand what it is, know its symptoms and whether you’re prone to it, then monitor yourself, always remembering that the opposite of ego-merge is not arrogance.
Here’s what you do.
- Post a watch for the first symptom of ego-merge: when your glow of accomplishment for an exemplary project you did is quickly quenched by negative internal news or media coverage. The greater the offset the greater the ego-merge.
- Listen to yourself. When describing a project (successful or not) or coup (large or small), listen to how you describe it and where and how you attribute its success or failure. Adjust accordingly.
- Offset and reduce ego-merge in others by publicly giving full credit to those around you at all levels up and down for their contributions.
Flickr image credit: vetlesk