Let’s examine 3 myths on the way managers or team leaders perceive their team members:
Myth #1: “My boss sees and knows how hard I work”
A typical manager / team leader must divide his/her time between his/her own work and typically, 2 to 10 other people.
In reality, the manager focuses his/her attention on each individual for only a fraction of his/her time, and he/she cannot be with each person for each minute of each work day.
Many people think that their boss “sees and knows” how hard they work, but in fact, he/she knows little about their activity, unless they tell him/her.
A parent cannot possibly know at all times what each of their children does – otherwise there would not be so many videos on the internet about children who have drawn and scribbled all over walls.
Similarly, people must realise that a team leader cannot possibly know at all times what team members do. Working hard is not sufficient. A team member must effectively communicate about work done with the team leader – to get a better chance that the team leader be aware.
Myth #2: “If I work hard, I will undoubtedly be rewarded”
Working “hard” does not necessarily pay off.
A Document Controller – let’s call him Peter – works 12-hour days on a routine basis. However, 70% of his work contains mistakes. He works hard, but he does not work well: he places volume, speed and long hours before quality.
Another Document Controller – let’s call her Mary – works 14-hour days every weekday and she routinely works during the weekend. However, most of this additional work time takes place outside of office hours, far from the eyes of her manager.
Although she works hard and she works well, she actually works against herself by making things look easy – indeed, her manager does not see all the extra hours that she puts in and he genuinely believes that she achieves that large amount of good work during normal working hours.
As a result, it does not look as if she is working that hard, from her manager’s perspective.
Myth #3: “If I am the best at my job, I will get promoted”
Many people are disappointed when promotions keep flying over their heads, despite the fact that they are the best at what they do.
Being a team leader, a supervisor or a manager requires very different competencies and a very different mindset from being a technical specialist – as Consepsys covers in its courses “Certified Lead Document Controller” and “Transitioning to a Manager Position”.
Being the best at one’s job does not necessarily mean being the best candidate for a position as a manager. One must take into account the ability to understand the bigger picture and the soft skills that are required, for example. Also, even if one is the best at what they do and even if one is the best candidate for a position as a manager, does the boss know? Many people work hard and forget to communicate about their achievements.
After all, it is unlikely to get what we want if we do not ask for it.
In any case, when a person wishes to get a promotion, that person must identify the competencies required to be a team leader and they must develop in those areas to increase their chances of success.