Monday, May 18, 2015

Do You Know Who Is In Your Corner?

Here is the situation:
You applied for a role in your organization. It is a step up, a promotion.  You jump all the hoops - interviews, travel to meet people, research on others in similar roles across the country, find out information on your own and it is now time for the big day - the decision.

The one person - a VP of sorts, called to tell you that you did not get the position. That was it - no explanation, except for a promise that your direct supervisor will let you know what you need to work on in the future to be in the running next time.

Instead of the supervisor having a one-on-one face-to-face conversation with you, he waits until the VP schedules a conference call so that you can all talk about this together.  In the call, you are told that the one of two things you are known for in your current business and stake your reputation on, you do not do.  You are pissed off at this comment but decide to play it cool and listen, perhaps the supervisor will step up to your defence and inform the VP of the numerous examples they have discussed with you & actually asked you to share in the area.  

The supervisor does not step up.

You walk away feeling worthless, angry, disrespected, disappointed and alone.

What do you do now?

You have 2 options - wallow/stop/quit or figure out what went wrong.  The first is not an option, really.  You are not that type of person.  Instead, you find time to have a straight talk with the supervisor.  It's time for you to step up, realizing that when you do, next steps may actually be the former (moving on, the fit is not there.)

This is not an easy conversation to have, as you do not want to come across as whiny or a sore loser.  This is a conversation that needs to be fact-finding - asking questions that focus on the next step:

  • what can I do to showcase how I XXXX? (include examples of how this has been done in the past, seeking clarity on what could have missing)
  • how often can we meet to discuss my progress in XXXX? (include examples of past discussions and seek clarity around providing further details)
  • is there a mentor that can help me with XXXX? (this shows willingness to learn & grow, deepening understanding of the company culture)
The point here is to seek clarity around the situation while still pointing relevant information and seeking to grow in the organization.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

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