Employees near the start of their careers are not typically thought of as leaders in the workplace. Not only do they lack the skills, but their youth can count against them in the eyes of others.
However, with the right attitude, an observant eye and a desire to learn, any young professional can make their mark.
Here are some ways to maintain great working relationships with your colleagues while catapulting yourself to success.
Keep your colleagues up to date with both good and bad news, and let them know how the company plans to respond. Make sure your colleagues do not get unpleasant surprises. Remember, it’s better to be honest about a mistake than to be caught out in a lie later.
Appearances are important, so make sure you keep your work area clean and tidy and that any personal touches you add don’t place emphasis on your age. You should also make sure you have a plan for each day and week. Organising your tasks in this way will make you more efficient and more likely to get choice assignments.
Your colleagues, partners and even managers make mistakes, and it can fall to you to correct them. Should the time come, calmly explain what the situation is and what you expect from them in the future. Don’t speak to them out of anger or frustration; if that means taking some time away from your desk to regain your composure, go for a walk and come back refreshed and ready to be constructive.
Be the kind of leader you would follow yourself. Consider how you handle situations that require leadership, such as training a new colleague or demonstrating a new tool. Make sure you treat your colleagues with respect and you will earn theirs in return.
Conduct yourself according to ethical principles and model the behaviour that you expect from other team members. Show you know where you are going, and that you are not only telling your team what to do but that you are marching in step.
If you want to gain the trust and respect of your colleagues, you need to deal with everyone equally. Just because you may be close friends with a particular member of the team it does not mean you should give them any special treatment. Avoid showing favourites and offer rewards based on merit.