Corporate Zoo


Have you ever wondered why certain people are in their roles? Doubted their existence, and thought you could do better?

I’m sure you have! I think we have all thought that about someone in our careers.

For a reason

The truth is, they did get their jobs for a reason. Right at the beginning when it was between them and someone else, they proved to their managers or recruiters that they were the best fit for the job. They either had the experience, drive or cultural fit that was going to deliver exactly what was needed for the business.

Over time, when people settle in their jobs or due to reasons you might not be aware of, they can somehow drift away from their initial roles and start to not meet the “perceptions” or “expectations” of others. This is what I call the “expectation gap”. The distance between what you think as an employee they should deliver, versus what they actually are delivering.

In this situation, I do think it becomes a joint issue to resolve and important for both parties to understand why.

If you are a Manager and know that your staff perhaps aren’t supporting you like you’d hoped in life, I think it’s up to you to respect their opinions and understand why. Perhaps your KPI’s or responsibilities aren’t well communicated and is causing the “expectations gap”, take responsibility and communicate it.

The “younger generation” are a perfect example of those who tend challenge the status quo and senior management. Trust me, it’s in our DNA! Those who are ambitious, have grown up in a generation where it’s normal, not to accept anything less than amazing, and challenge things only for the benefit of the company. We don’t believe in hierarchy, it’s purely outcome focused. I get it, it might not work for all businesses, and can cause waves in businesses or managers who just aren’t used to this kind of energy.

On the other hand if you’re the person getting frustrated by the situation, I say express yourself in a way that’s not going to make the other person feel bad, but respected. And discuss it with the other person, in a way that will work for them. For example if they are an introvert or someone with a bit of an ego (let’s be honest, most people with an office have an ego!), it’s probably not the best to be guns a blazing and tell them what you think. It will make them feel insignificant and undermined. Book a meeting, gently speak and get your thoughts or frustration across in a diplomatic way. Issue, why it’s an issue and what you need to ‘understand’ it. No pointing fingers.

Also, sometimes, with some people it’s best not to do anything! That’s also a good option, as right as your opinions might be. Focus on doing an amazing job in your role, and let it go. Pick your battles.
At the end of the day, if you have a good relationship with someone and the culture embraces honestly, then you should be able to say something directly to a person and it is respected. Likewise as the more senior person in the conversation, if you disagree or have an opinion, it too should be respected. Both walking away, without bitchiness or resentment, but respect for each others’ opinions. A level of understanding of where you both are coming from.

Like the title of this blog post, the person is always in their role for a reason. Maybe you just can’t see it yet, or it hasn’t been made clear enough across the business yet. But there’s always a reason.

What do you think? Love to hear your thoughts.

Kat xx

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