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I used to be quite critical of my past managers.

Why am I not getting enough direction? Why have I been asked to do this? Why am I not getting formal training? etc., etc.

Now I don't criticise my managers any more, and I've turned those questions inwards.

How could I go further in the right direction? How could I turn this project into a success? What learning opportunities can I pursue online?

And once I've put together a plan, I'll go to my manager to ask for what I need to make it happen.

So what's the main difference? Well, I've taken responsibility for myself. I'm essentially my own manager. Like everyone else on earth, I'm a big bag of expectations, emotions & frustrations, and it's my responsibility to present that in a professional way for at least eight hours, five days a week.

How you're getting on at work has a lot to do with your manager, but it has much more to do with yourself. When you complain at work, you're complaining about your experience of work. You’re also suggesting that you're not prepared to change your own experience of work, it's up to someone else to do that for you.

Are your grievances just going to queue, waiting for your manager to have a spare moment, before they can be solved? No, your manager is probably already trying to troubleshoot another person on your team!

So it’s up to you to come with solutions to problems, rather than just pass on your knowledge of existing problems, and become a problem yourself.

People say that the best form of teamwork draws from individual strengths to create something that's greater than anything one person can put together. People tend not to talk about the fact that teamwork is also about each person cutting out the clutter and distractions that undermine that clean, shiny gem they’ve got to offer the group. But that’s just as important.

I still enjoy a moan, but I'm more likely to make it about something I can't control. Standard stuff like politics or the weather. Even though it's mundane, I've noticed that my manager enjoys listening much more.

BY Alan Wanders


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