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I recently received feedback as part of my annual appraisal and I came across a very interesting point from a person with whom I work closely, who was requested to share his thoughts about my person. One of the points that really stood out to me was that I should consider how I want to be perceived as a manager, an extremely interesting question which got me into thinking. What could the hidden stereotype be behind it?
As my brain normally functions I went straight into looking for the answers to the questions above. And as I was trying to figure out my management style and how I am being perceived by my team, I realized that the qualities that I have as a person do differ from the qualities of other managers I either work or interact with, which is a beautiful thing as this is where the magic of working with people is hiding. Diversity is the most interesting and beautiful thing you can experience as part of a big corporate company.
However, how should I be perceived as a manager if I want to progress in a Gen-X leading world is the actual question that I came to ask myself… Do I stop myself from being the outgoing and social person I am, or from wanting to try new things and feeling impatient and constantly passionate about them, or for valuing my work-life balance, or from being too friendly with my staff and as a result not being the boss that I am supposed to be?
Supposed to be…
During my career in retail, I have experienced several roles which gave me the insight I needed to understand what it takes for someone to follow somebody’s lead in real life, and things aren’t as easy as they are on social media. In real life, to get people to follow you takes lots of time, effort, hard work, appreciation, understanding, and listening. It’s only when I walked down the stairs and stood on the same story with my team that I got to say that I had won these people’s trust. And by my team I mean the people who chose to work with me and chose to support me in achieving our goals. In fact, there have been cases where I failed winning people, or even worse, lost them. Lost them for not being myself.
The above facts have helped me realize, accept, and ‘’hug’’ who I really am. And who I am is a transparent millennial manager whose goals are clear and who’s eager to achieve a healthy and honest work environment where people are free to express their needs and chase their dreams without feeling guilty or thinking of how they will be perceived because they will know that their unique character and personality does nothing but contribute to the common goal. The common goal which not only they were given the chance to question, but a goal which they got to understand, challenge, and develop the willingness to achieve knowing that without their contribution and character, things would have been totally different.
I really am grateful that this person asked me this question because I got to think that this is how I actually want to be perceived as a person and as a manager.