Why Your Workplace Help is Missing the Mark (And How You Can Fix It!)

Here is why your workplace help is missing the mark and how you can fix it!

Help In Workplace: The Choice

This is a real-life happening from one of my product teams related to workplace help.

I have a technically excellent team member. We will call him P.

P has been working on an important project with a steep deadline. 

But recently, P decided to help another team member for almost the whole day on another project with somewhat lesser business importance.

He missed his deadline on an important project. The business is still suffering the consequences of P’s choice.

P is a great team member with excellent technical skills. But he could not stay on course. 

The Management Decision

Was P sacked? 

No. But he had to be reprimanded. 

“It is okay to help the others if it takes 10-15 minutes of your time.

It is also okay to help others if it takes more time but does not impact the project in focus; otherwise, that help is a waste of business resources!”

~ Some day in Feb 2021
You have power to make your choices — not outside influences. Realize this, and you will find your performance mark! ~ UV (Utpal Vaishnav Quote)

Any respectable business works on defining priorities and performance. You disregard the priority, and you are a poor performer. 

In my team, it is acceptable to make mistakes. But not the same mistake twice. 

When you are working on an important project, you get everything done to deliver that project. 

Nothing more, nothing less. 

That’s the fundamental responsibility. That’s what makes you a performer and provides the perks. 

In business, helping others is great, but not always. Not at the cost of your own performance. That’s not running an extra mile, that’s an inappreciable performance glitch!

Note to Self

  1. When you are working on a project, stay on-course. Or don’t participate in the project.
  2. Helping others is noble only if it does not impact your own performance. Put your oxygen mask first
  3. Mistakes are acceptable as long as they are used as stepping stones to learn and get better at the core craft. 

Think for yourself. 

How to build a Career Success Mindset

Career Success Mindset…or any mindset building process is mostly passive and automatic.

Our mindset is influenced by the experiences and people we engage in. We become an average of 5 people we spend our time with.

Still, more often than not, we don’t pay attention to people with whom we spend our time that we are never going to get back. Typically, in the workplace, there are two types of people:

  1. People with Escapers’ mindset
  2. People with Accomplishers’ mindset

1. People with Escapers‘ mindset

People with Escapers’ mindset engage in the work to escape the unpleasantness caused by some other life experiences.

They do the work to entertain themselves: chit-chat with colleagues, overly enjoying free goodies offered at the workplace, cultivating relationships with the client’s team members just for being accepted, and so on.

How to identify people with Escapers’ mindset?

Escapers are found exhibiting one or more of the following traits:

  1. Unnecessary chit-chat with colleagues;
  2. Giving a lot of thoughts about what others are up to;
  3. Repeats the same mistakes again; talk about the effects of the mistakes;
  4. Do not pay attention to detail;
  5. Wait for the ‘instructions’ from other team members, usually seniors;
  6. They avoid accountability as much as they can;
  7. They give unnecessary attention to unimportant things.

2. People with Accomplishers‘ mindset

They do the work because they want to achieve a goal through the work. When they reach a goal, they set the next goal, and so on.

They do the work to achieve their goals: they take time to align their personal goals with organizations’ goals and work towards being super-clear about the expectations, outlining delivery milestones, cultivating personal relationships with colleagues and people at vendor/customer/end user’s end so that they can get their things done, and so on.

How to identify people with Accomplishers‘ mindset?

  1. They have set a core purpose for their career (and life);
  2. What others are doing is none of their business if their activities do not impact their work;
  3. When they make mistakes, they take ownership and learn from it; they choose to be a cause in the matter;
  4. They say NO to most things but whenever they say yes, they pay a lot of attention to detail;
  5. They do not wait for the ‘instructions’ from other team members to get something done;
  6. Although they are good with articulation, they communicate straight with the team members;
  7. They have binary thinking about what is right and what is not from the collective growth perspective of the organization, team, and self.

Both of them have very different perceptions, make very different decisions, and exhibit very different ownership of the actions.

While sometimes escapers can also get things done, it is the accomplishers who make not only their careers but the careers of their colleagues successful and contribute to making the business successful.

How do you like to classify yourself?

If you do not classify yourself as an accomplisher, how do you classify your surrounding?

If your surrounding has more (or any) escapers then you know what to do, don’t you?

Develop a career success mindset by consciously choosing to be an accomplisher.

To be an accomplisher, associate yourself with more accomplishers, experiment more, learn from the results and work in alignment with your career and company’s objectives … and you will be more successful than the most.