Recently I’ve been seeing a common pattern across my clients who have been unhappy at work. So I decided to do some research in to what causes the feelings they have been experience. The answer may surprise you. It’s learning the art of being a follower.
In a world that puts so much value on leadership, the art of followership is vastly ignored. Yet the truth is that for many of us it is the key to enjoying the every day of our work.
Our managers so easily get a bad rep, we put them up on pedestals and hold high expectations of them. Then when they fail, we feel gratified but also frustrated, unhappy and disengaged. We expect them to be both emotionally intelligent and great at their jobs when in reality managers are often promoted because of their hard skills and not their people skills.
On top of this, it's no secret that the world of work is become more changeable. On average, we are now in roles for 2 years. This means that we are in a constant state of building new relationships in new jobs, with new bosses and new colleagues. This does not give us that chance to naturally establish relationships. Instead it means we must be able to adapt quickly. We must quickly learn to collaborate with our new colleagues.
In addition to this, we have seen the workplace move from individual work to team work. Often times this means that individuals may feel they can no longer stand out, or that others take credit for our work. It can lead to distrust or over protectiveness of work. Leading to low productivity and a negative team environment.
The art of followership looks at the other side of leadership. It challenges some of the assumptions we make in the workplace. The qualities that we need to learn in order to navigate this collaborative, agile way of working. It doesn't mean being submissive or without autonomy. Neither does it mean that it will hinder your progression. It's about building the skills you need to align with the vision set by your leader, and becoming happier in your job as a result.
When we learn to lead and build relationships with the people we work with, we learn how to thrive in the modern day working environment. Rather than seeing your teammates as competitors, see them as an opportunity for development. High performing teams are those that learn to work in successful partnership with one another.
An important aspect to this, is learning to treat everybody on the team as equally important to getting things done. In fact, research has shown that those who are able to establish this equilibrium are proven to become more productive and engaged. Performing in such a way gives you the opportunity to accomplish so much more.
True partnerships are both more productive and creative, creating the space for innovation, creativity and the scope to view your work with depth and breadth. Partnerships are co-beneficial and lead to greater outcomes.
If you are interested in learning more about the qualities of an effective follower, I recommend this article. You can also read more in depth about this in Marc and Samantha Hurwitz book "Leadership is Half the Story: A Fresh Look at Followership, Leadership ad Collaboration".
Want to talk further about how you can find happiness at work?
Book a FREE coaching session with me. I help individuals find their strengths and move past their limiting beliefs. We can talk through what's going on for you now and where you want to be.