I’m Rubber and You’re Glue; What Does Your Reflection Look Like?

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My kids love to play “make believe”. Sometimes they’re Superheroes. Sometimes they’re ninjas. Sometimes they pretend they’re well behaved. Lately they’ve taken to “playing house”. They want to be the Mom and Dad. What’s more entertaining is when I get to be the “kid”. It’s a cute game but also very introspective. I get to see my behavior and words reflected through their role playing. Sometimes it’s cute when they want to take care of me because I’m sick. I especially like watching as they “prepare” for a road trip. Other times what I see reflected back isn’t as positive. Through their play I see a stressed anxious parent who tells their child “you’re driving me crazy”.

This really got me thinking about how my co-workers see me. What reflections would I see if we were to role play? Would it be a leader, a hard worker, a strategist? Or would it be sarcastic, negative, and an absent micro-manager? It’s tough to say because co-workers won’t role play that behavior with you, right? True, but you do see reflections of your behavior in their behavior. Attitude and behavior permeates. It seeps into the pores of others. People very quickly adapt to the attitudes and actions of others, especially management. 8639781

So what if you find gazing at your reflection is disappointing? Below are 5 steps for gussying up your reflected appearance.

1. Define your role. What characteristics should that person have? What leadership qualities would they demonstrate? Would you want to work with, or for, that person? Document and list out these attributes. Place them in a spot that you can refer to daily.

2. Litmus test your team and co-workers. What attitudes and behaviors do you see in them? Are they positive or negative? How do they respond to others internally on your team, and externally? What’s their work effort?

3. Identify areas of improvement. What changes would you like to see in your team? What changes would you like to see in yourself? Identify the triggers for what is negative. Are workloads too heavy, hours in the office too much, or is time spent in useless meetings too frequent?

4. Develop a plan. Don’t just say you want to change. To truly affect change you need to commit and you need to adjust the environment in which you operate. Do you need to adjust work estimates, encourage lunchtime away from the desk, or limit meetings to only one per day?

5. Become the change you want to see in others. Start on the inside if you want to impact the outside. As Michael Jackson sang, start with the man in the mirror. Set the example, be accessible, and be an advocate for your team and co-workers.

Ask yourself, what would your work reflection look like? Is it what you would want to see?


Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox is the Director of Marketing for Second City Works - the B2B division of the famed Second City.

You know the buzzwords; inbound, outbound, content, demand gen, lead gen, martech, social media, account-based, advocacy, customer success, sales enablement, and analytics.She studies it, plans it, executes it, experiments with it, and loves it.

Through discovery, creation, and innovation she's learned to say "Yes, And".Like business, her career is one big improvisational act.

She leads all aspects of the brand and culture, developing and executing a clearly defined, integrated marketing communications strategy.Marilyn is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, training, and managing all marketing functions to achieve objectives of growth, awareness, customer success and making work better.

Marilyn exists to empower sales and support the customer. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she can be found daydreaming about her unrealized dream as a professional wrestler with the WWE.

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