Rocking A New Role: The Mary Poppins Method
I had reached my Mary Poppins moment – that moment when I knew my work was done and it was time to float off with my umbrella to new adventures. To be honest, 2016 has been about constant change – I got engaged, we bought our first house, got married (twice – once in our back yard and once in Las Vegas with Elvis) and now the universe was telling me to dig deep into my bag of tricks and fly off to a new adventure in the digital world.
I have to admit I landed well. Though this role has enough similarities to my previous jobs to keep me comfortable, there is plenty of new territory to challenge me as well. I decided to approach this transition very mindfully – as an exploration of my ability to roll with change. I’ve learned quite a bit about myself through this experience and I am eager to share some observations about the process of falling with style into a new role.
Quiet confidence is mutually beneficial.
First, allow me to define quiet confidence and to provide some insight into how one achieves it. Quiet confidence is a deep-seated emotion or feeling indicating that the person knows they have everything they need to accomplish their goals. It involves an internal locus of control and internal sense of worth. I achieve and care for my quiet confidence through faith and meditation. The benefit of quiet confidence in a new role is two-fold. (1) The new employee believes in themselves beyond a doubt that, though it may take time and training, they are up to the challenge of the new role. (2) The quiet confidence of the new employee puts new coworkers and leadership at ease. The new recruit is neither trying to change everything at once nor are they shying away from any challenges.
We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
Listening to understand, rather than listening to respond, is a wise practice no matter where you are, but as a new member of an organization, there is no better plan. By listening first, a new recruit will learn history, understand strategic alliances and be invited into any dysfunction that exists. All of this information will allow the new hire to be significantly more strategic when offering suggestions, planning improvements and innovations, as well as protecting the individual from too much embarrassment associated with sticking ones’ foot in ones’ mouth.
Encouragement is a language that everyone understands.
There is so much negativity in the world. It seems so much more natural as a human condition because of its prevalence. But it doesn’t have to be that way. And I don’t mean becoming your team’s new Pollyanna. Honest encouragement for a job well done edifies the recipient and begins the work of creating a culture of positivity and engagement. Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, “They may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” Cultivating relationships through encouragement ensures you will have a crew at the ready to support you the next time you need it.
Focusing on these disciplines has helped stabilize me through all the transition of this year. To be honest, it’s helped all the transition be joyful! As Mary Poppins says, “A spoon full of sugar (quiet confidence, listening and encouragement) helps the medicine (and transition) go down in a most delightful way!”
If you would like to hear from Rachel Butts more on employee journey, tune into the featured topic segment of CMS-Connected Show aired on April 29th as she discussed the building blocks of a successful employee journey with analysts Scott Liewehr, Founder and CEO of Digital Clarity Group and Jeff Willinger, Director of Collaboration, Social Business and Intranets at Rightpoint.