“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards.” –Dale Carnegie
One of my worst traits is that I’m not good at accepting recognition when I actually deserve it.
I know you’re thinking wait, what, how can you not accept the recognition you deserve? It’s not always that I don’t accept the recognition but I don’t let others know about the recognition that is deserved.
I’ve never been good at bragging about myself or my own accomplishments. I know this is the exact opposite of the norm. Most people end up taking credit for someone else’s hard work. I’ve just never been able to do that. In fact, I’ve tried so hard not to do that I end up not getting recognition for what I’ve actually accomplished.
One example in a recent meeting with a new manager I was asked what is it that you do when you travel? My answer was simple, “I talk to the drivers about their Hours of Service and see what issues they are facing. This helps me to determine the real issues we are dealing with in the field.”
What I should have said was, “When I travel I do my best to spend time with every driver to see what concerns they might be having and how I can help. It’s great to spend time with them around the job site so I can personally see what issues they are facing when it comes to compliance with regulations and policy. I like to have the employees in the field help determine several solutions to any concerns that we might have found. After the drivers, foreman/superintendent and I find a couple of possible solutions I bring them to the division managers’ attention over a casual meeting.
I also take advantage of the time in the field to give the drivers vital training that they might be missing. This includes Hours of Service, Telogis, and other DOT related facts they might need to know.
By being in the field I can see their equipment and what kind of condition they keep it in. If there are any issues that need to be addressed, I address those while on the job site. I have found many different concerns as severe as employees who were not authorized to drive a company vehicle, who were driving, to something simple. Without going to these job sites there’s no way we would have ever caught these issues until they were stopped by law enforcement.
Last, of all, I do my best to build relationships. This is helpful because in the future when I need something from that division they are more willing to help. Also when they have a question they are more likely to call and ask. These are just a few of the items on my checklist when I travel”
What do you think, which answer is better? The second one of course. It gives a full explanation of what I’m doing and what I’m accomplishing or attempting to accomplish while I’m out there. It gives me the full credit for what’s actually happening.
So why didn’t I say that during the meeting? Who knows. The real question is how do I fix the issue? I have started utilizing these 5 simple steps to help me.
- Pray before, during, and after. I have started asking God to help guide my conversations, this has helped me immensely. Before I would finish a conversation and think, oh man I should have brought this or that up. Now I know that my conversation went exactly how it was supposed to.
- Listen to Listen. I have been working on this myself for quite some time now. When someone talks all too often we listen only to answer. I suggest that we listen to the whole question, take a deep breath, and then answer. When I try to compose the answer while they are still talking I might miss an extremely important part of the question. Also, they might be giving me acknowledgment for something that I’ve done and I miss it because I’m not really listening.
- Take a deep breath. I pause for a few seconds before I answer the question. This helps me to get my thoughts put in the right order and helps me to take the credit that’s due.
- Be honest. I don’t exaggerate my answers at all, if I’m not doing something I don’t lie and say that I am. On the other hand, if I am doing something I make sure to mention it in detail.
- Tell them everything. If I feel that it’s not important I say it anyway, that one simple detail might be what sets me apart from my colleagues. Or even better it might spark an idea in someone on the team.
Don’t be afraid to take credit for what you’ve done. That doesn’t mean that you brag about it every time you get the chance, or take control of every meeting so that you can boast about every little detail. When you’re asked don’t be afraid of the truth, you’ll be surprised exactly how much recognition you already have just from what others have seen you accomplish. Keep in mind that you are not THE team you are a vital PART of the team!
Have a Blessed Day