Monday, January 10, 2011

Between the Conference and the Coffee Table

Must admit, the idea struck me when I was reading about SRK saying that he wants Ganguly to be part of the team "in any capacity".

It's hard to  make tough choices. Especially when the choices are about people. About relationships.
And when things are not absolutely black and white. Or right or wrong. But blurred with greys and what ifs and why nots.

It's true in the workspace as well.
I may have my favourites as a senior colleague. But when it comes to a headcount choice, or a promotion, or a recognition or even a perk trip, the choice is and has to be professional. And nothing else.

Most of the disappointments come when we say- But how could he/she do this? We had such  a great relationship.
We fail to realise  that we ourselves cross the boundaries between personal and professional lives.

Here are some of my learnings on how to keep this line intact.

1. Explain key decisions and reason whys to concerned or affected people. Make them see the logic.

2. Be fair and just in both good times and bad. Sometimes we make the mistake of being too liberal in good times and ourselves wipe off the boundary line.

3. Share feedback throughout the year so that a key professional decision does not come as a bolt from the blue.

4. Make sure that the team and partners shares the same vision and goals.

5. A casual comment over a drink or a do about work with colleagues may be miscontrued as a professional decision. We need to be careful of the slips between the cup and the lip.

6. Being popular does not mean  saying yes to everyone. It means we are being unfair to those who really deserve.

If we are honest, fair and outspoken about what we believe are our goals and expectations at work, we will always manage to have that thick line between the conference and the coffee table.

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