In today’s job market, it is important to continually find ways to add value to your organization.  You should be able to point to weekly, monthly, and quarterly accomplishments if you desire to find meaning and purpose in your work.  The alternative is boredom, long-days, tedious, arduous, and pointless labor.  By expanding your perspective at work, you will identify the opportunities and challenges that will make work fun.

Border wars are not only a challenge of the US Border Patrol, but also for those who must negotiate intra-company silos created by hierarchical levels, departments, or professional sub-cultures.  By expanding your perspective at work, you may be able to offer valuable solutions.

How much profit, creativity, and opportunities are lost to interdepartmental wars?  Can you find an opportunity by taking the role of peacemaker, ambassador, or reconciler?  These are roles that you earn over time, not simply assume.  Through your consistent open attitude, authentic inquiry, and graciousness responses, you will start to be accepted by other people beyond your individual silo.  It will take patience and perseverance for other people to begin to see you as a worthy and trustworthy source.

Each group within your organization is responsible for their own set objectives and goals.  Ideally, these groups should work together to accomplish work for their mutual benefit.  Unfortunately, best intents bump into each other creating an atmosphere of misunderstanding, not cooperation.

Here is your opportunity to stand out and find new challenges that can make work fun by employing a practical strategy using the acronym RULES.

  • Reach out and initiate conversation.  Ask and offer nothing other than friendship.  Find some common ground, like football or shopping, and build rapport.  Your goal is to increase your approachability.
  • Understand their culture, language, challenges, and issues.  Listening for understanding is a critical if to expanding your perspective beyond your immediate silo.  Over time, you will get a sense of their unique challenges.
  • Learn about issues and challenges you uncover or suspect. Without acting like a “know-it-all”, learn more about their silo.  Borrow a trade or professional magazine over the weekend and return it on Monday morning.  Show genuine interest by engaging in conversation regarding an issue you find interesting.
  • Evaluate their issues from your outsider’s perspective as you learn more about their unique challenges.  While you may not have the depth of understanding to solve a technical problem, you may have insight into socials, cultural, or organizational issues.
  • Solve a problem by offering thoughtful solutions.  It is important to be available and responsive if and when someone from another silo approaches you.  Waiting for them to initiate the conversation will increase the odds that they are at a teachable moment.  You must never force solutions if you are going to earn the role of peacemaker, ambassador, or reconciler.

RULES can be helpful because they provide both direction and boundaries.  When you seek to expand your perspective to become a value-adder, it is important to not over-extend yourself, guess, or allow people to take advantage of your kindness.  You still have a core job to do.  Seeking to help others may create the challenges and personal rewards to make your job more fun, help other people, and benefit your organization.

How have you added value in another silo?

Make Work Fun by Expanding Your Perspective