You’re humming along at work. You’ve received positive feedback from coworkers and upper management commending you on the quality of your contributions to the team. Everything seems to be going great. Then one day, without any previous discussions or hints, your boss catches you outside of your cubicle and mentions he wants you to meet with an executive coach.
Your heart immediately starts to race. Is this a good thing? A bad thing? Your boss doesn’t help matters by not giving you much if any background and having the discussion (albeit brief) smack dab in the middle of a sea of cubicles as your coworkers listen in on your conversation.
If you’re the employee, how do you handle the conversation?
You’ve been jockeying for it for a long time. You’ve completed all of the leadership training your company has to offer, incorporated every nugget of feedback you’ve ever received from performance reviews, and carefully observed other leaders in the company–all in an effort to make sure your transition goes as smoothly as possible. But 30 days into the move, you’ve completely alienated coworkers causing them to shut down, talk venomously about you behind your back, or consider hiring a hit man. What happened?
Most job seekers will tell you today’s hiring process has become a dysfunctional assembly line fraught with hyper rigidity that is more focused on identifying why candidates aren’t right for the job than it is at identifying potential transferable skills and upside. This finding a “square peg to fit a square hole” approach might have worked well when companies were looking to fill clearly defined and very specific manufacturing roles, but it is not equipped to effectively evaluate today’s multitalented job seekers. With the advent of applicant tracking systems, online applications, and technology that should help organizations more effectively and efficiently screen applicants, things have instead gotten worse.
Have you ever started a new job and felt like the company wasn’t expecting you? After multiple rounds of interviews, site visits, and phone calls, you arrive on your first day eager to make a good first impression and your coworkers, and even your manager, are too busy working on their own projects to say much more than hello. Granted, in some cases they might be under a tight deadline or left scrambling to get your email account set up and make sure your office or cube has been cleaned, but that’s a small consolation when, as a brand spanking new employee, you’re hoping to feel welcomed.