Navigating Job Performance Within Boundaries

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navigating job performance

Navigating Job Performance Within Boundaries

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Most people come to work expecting to succeed. They put a lot of effort into making a difference, fitting in, and navigating the culture. Navigating job performance often involves subjectivity and attaining successful performance can be tricky.

A member of the waitstaff team decides the menu needs some new choices. He pushes management hard continuously insisting the choices by management are poor.

A creative marketing designer decides the price is too high and she assertively expresses unhappiness when preparing new advertising materials.

The junior networking engineer repeatedly challenges the long-term CIO in departmental meetings insisting that data security infrastructure is below par.

Knowing Boundaries

Many people have an opportunity to somewhat shape their job and their career. Having open discussions, a voice in the process, and providing constructive suggestions is a great thing.

Doing it so assertively that it creates friction with the boss may not always be the best approach. Certainly, there may be a time to stand up, give a little nudge, and express opinions, but knowing the boundaries is important.

Pushing to the point that you are identified as having a bad attitude likely won’t win you the next rung on the corporate ladder.

Navigating Job Performance

You work hard because you care. Putting in extra effort increases your job satisfaction and makes you feel responsible, productive, and that your contributions matter. Great.

In some cases, you’ll be able to shape your own job. In other cases, there just isn’t the opportunity for another manager, leader, or C-suite executive.

It may be about timing, or it may be that you still need more skill building. Keep in mind that navigating the culture may be the most important non-technical skill you can build.

Your performance is observed and evaluated by your boss, peers, or even the board of directors.

Make sure you’re performing well in what they are measuring. In many cases, this is boils down to your awareness of how to get along with them.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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