Getting Along with Colleagues and Getting Ahead at Work

You’re a Caregiver, which is not a dirty word. It’s thanks to you that deadlines get met, not to mention that office supplies get ordered and company special occasions get observed.

Because you excel at bringing order to others’ chaos, you are often left to be the taskmaster or “mean mommy.” Save yourself a few headaches by following the three rules below. 

Want more career inspiration? Click here to see Part 2.

Working back from the deadline in question, pick at least three times to approach your colleagues for the information or approval you need. As you do, be mindful of their biorhythms. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Everyone has certain days of the week and times of day that are best for them. Figure out what these are and avoid “poking the bear” at the wrong time.

You are supremely comfortable diving into conversations about facts and figures (and if there is a flow chart or PowerPoint deck involved, you’re in ecstasy). The trouble is, others may need to blow off steam before they get down to the nitty-gritty. With this in mind, don’t open meetings with requests for decision-making. Instead, plan on letting the first fifteen minutes of any meeting wash over you. Nod. Write things down. After that, you can begin asking clarifying questions.

As you know, “helicopter parents” hover over their children, taking care of every detail before the child has a chance to draw breath. While it can be hard for you to watch others suffer the consequences of their shoddy decision-making or poor organizational skills, you’re going to have to let them fail in order for them to learn. Keep a paper trail that demonstrates your efforts to avoid catastrophe and then let the chips fall where they may.