What'll You Have?



What'll You Have...What'll You Have? is chanted across the counter if you visit the iconic Varsity in Atlanta. Your response will most likely be a chili dog or two and a Varsity frosted orange.  

How is it we can step up to the counter and tell the staff what we want to order, however, asking for what we want in life is so much more difficult?

This past week, Kristina Minyard, one of our HR Colleagues, posted a challenge - do what you want to do.  She went on to pen..."You have to figure out for yourself what you want and you have to learn to articulate that to your managers and mentors." Here's the magic...

If you can’t articulate it, you’re losing out on resources you need. Being able to articulate your goals and what you really enjoy working on will help you facilitate conversations where you get the most useful feedback from others and have the opportunity to ask valuable questions. Rarely do things just fall in your lap and work out exactly the way you had hoped, you have to use your voice. --Kristina Minyard

I am an advocate of developing the art of story-telling for amazing results in your personal and professional life. Everyone has a story, it is your challenge to make it interesting, memorable and credible. Stories help us connect, find commonality and appreciate differences. Never assume you know someone's story.

In this new year, do you have mentors and managers you trust to start this dialog about your story and your future? If you do not, how do you begin the search for these colleagues to help you with your voice and your story? You must start by being brave and courageous and asking the valuable questions. Asking is the first step in accountability to yourself and your story. Make an appointment with your mentors and managers to begin this work, these are important conversations that need focused attention.

I agree with Kristina, you must use your voice and you must also use your ears to hear the advice and counsel of others. The feedback from another can be rich with ideas and perspective. Be open to hearing their advice. I will suggest that you capture this in writing and review later. You do not want to miss any aspects of this important feedback.

Maybe it is your teammate/colleague who is struggling with their story and finding their voice? How can you ask productive questions? This is a tough conversation between peers, however, this feedback from a colleague can be invaluable to growth. When you see the struggle in their eyes and hear the frustration in their voice, how can you skillfully ask the questions and invite added time for a conversation?  I think Steve Browne would agree, this is HRonPurpose.

I have found most want advice and struggle with how best to request. Be respectful and remember their vulnerability in making the ask for your insights and ideas. I remember one manager's gracious response when I sought her feedback. "You have obviously given this thought and attention over the past few weeks and I am just hearing this for the first time today. Might I suggest we set a follow-up appointment for later this week or next to discuss fully."

We are in the business of people development; how can we ask the important question…

What’ll Ya Have…What’ll Ya Have?



The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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