There are three steps for developing your career, no matter what level you are at.
1) Listen – Listen to others. Listen to their advice, direction and feedback.
Whether you’re just starting out at your first job or if you’re a CEO of a company the first step is always listening. On your first day on the job you listen to find guidance. The advice from others will help you to adjust to a new working environment. In order to do a job right you need to be able to listen to directions so you can follow them correctly. Feedback is key for your improvement. You’ll find out where your strengths lie and what areas need improvement.
Being a good listener is one of the most essential qualities of a leader. You need to let others be comfortable approaching you, knowing you will sincerely listen to what he/she has to say. Listening also opens the door to new ideas where you can spark creativity. And even a good leader needs to be open to listening to feedback to continue to adjust to the needs of the group.
2) Learn – Learn from others and from your own experience.
Listening tends to lead to learning. You first learn by someone else teaching you or sharing stories of past experiences. Learning from other’s experience can give you the advantage of not making the same mistake twice and making smarter decisions at work. Then you learn form your own experience.
Know that no mistake is a failure, it is a learning experience. Learn from mistakes and accomplishments. Expand your horizon to learn more. Explore new areas. Try something new or out of your comfort zone to learn about talents you never knew you had.
3) Share – Share what you have learned with others. Help others to succeed.
Keeping what you have learned isn’t only selfish, it actually holds you back. To be able to move forward in your career, help someone else to succeed. Help them develop their own skills and knowledge to take your place when you take your next career move.
Sharing also pays respect to those who helped you when you started. It helps create create community between coworkers. If you share with others, they will feel loyal to you and share what they know with you.
These three steps continuously cycle throughout career and leadership development. Each time you move up in your career you will use these three steps again. You’ll start over listening to new coworkers or members of a team you now manage. You’ll learn about the company and people you work with and how things are down at this new position. You’ll share information back to your old coworkers or with your new team.
As you develop these skills you will become a better leader. You’ll recognize the need to listen and honestly, some people may be shocked that you actually care to. Gather all the information and experience you can to make yourself diverse. Diversity makes you a stronger candidate and it makes it easier to relate to others. A great leader empowers his/her followers. Empower them by giving them ways to succeed and the tools to do so.
How do you listen, learn and share with your job?