Self-Supervising: Developing Personal Standards
Posted by Anni M.
It’s not surprising that one of the most often cited “soft skills” employers value is the ability to self-supervise. Employees who can motivate themselves are incredibly important for a well-oiled company. They don’t need constant attention or oversight. They don’t need much of anything. They are perpetual motion machines, content to work through tasks efficiently in solitude. If a company could be comprised entirely of self-supervisors, there would be no need for managers, team leaders, or assessment reports. Think of it as a machine with many moving parts. Machines aren’t keeping tabs on their gears and circuits. Every part does its job so that the whole can function.
If you aren’t a competent self-supervisor already, you may have a challenging road ahead of you. One of the most important elements of the successful self-supervisor is a strong and reliable work ethic. I’ve talked about ethic here before—how important it is for finding motivation and for doing consistently high quality work. If your parents and early teachers didn’t instill a solid work ethic in you when you were young, it may be difficult to build one now. Start by establishing patterns for yourself. Start your work at the same time each day and set small, reasonable goals. For example, if you’re working on a presentation, aim to have the first five minutes written and edited by the end of the day. Have the first 2.5 minutes written and edited by lunch. Turn off your cell phone, log-out of Facebook, and focus. Setting daily personal goals is a great way to motivate yourself in the short-term. You don’t have to think about tomorrow or a week from now. Just start with today.
If your work ethic is good—you consistently meet deadlines—but your work quality leaves something to be desired, evaluate your company’s standards. It’s helpful to look at completed projects, projects that were well-received, praised by the boss, and that resulted in the advancement of their author. What do these projects have that yours lack? It may actually be simple: good grammar, sentence structure, image choices, and research. Your personal standards should reflect the standards of your business.
Sometimes when we work on projects with a lot of other people, we don’t feel as accountable for our own contribution. Consider this: would you feel proud showing your work to someone you respect? Would you feel confident standing up in front of a group of your peers and defending your work? If you feel deeply proud of what you create, chances are good the work is of high quality. Be honest with yourself and continue to re-evaluate your standards. It’s a process that requires a constant vigilance. If you constantly question your work and continue to hone your focus, you can become a skilled self-supervisor.
As a Creative Communications Strategist, Victoria is known for her electrifying Keynote Performances™ and the transformational workshops and coaching sessions she creates for elite executives, high performing teams, thought leaders and entrepreneurs..