5 steps to work out your place in the office hierarchy
MANAGEMENT structure will go some way to defining who sits where in the pecking order but people with real influence in any business are not always those with the big job title or corner office.
Karen Gately, author of The People Manager's Toolkit: A Practical guide to getting the best from people, offers five ways you can tell where you really stand.
- DO PEOPLE LISTEN TO YOU?
- DOES YOUR MANAGER DELEGATE?
- DOES OPPORTUNITY COME KNOCKING?
- CAN YOU INFLUENCE CHANGE?
The people you are connected to and the depth of trust and respect between you is an important indicator. Building strong working relationships with people in senior positions brings the opportunity to influence what they think, how they feel and ultimately the decisions they make. Reflect on the leaders you have built rapport with and how confident you feel in your ability to approach them with your views and ideas.
The strength of your voice will influence the extent to which you are able to steer the course of events rather than be simply swept along with the tide. While we all have opinions, having our views taken seriously or acted upon is an important indicator of the impact we are able to have and the role people perceive us as playing - irrespective of our job title.
It's true to say some leaders are bad at delegating - often because they are either a control freak or simply don't realise they can and should hand over more. That said, your status is unquestionably reflected in your leadership team's willingness to allow you to reach some decisions on their behalf.
How often are you identified as the best person to take on a job? Do people invite you to take on responsibilities beyond the boundaries of your day-to-day role? Being included on a project team, for example, is somewhat revealing of the extent to which your talents and approach are known and well regarded.
That is, for example, do you influence way your job is done, how your department operates, the products and services your business offers? Reflect on changes you are able to observe that are a direct result of your own contributions. This is what other people see also and is revealing of where they are likely to perceive you as standing in the hierarchy of your team and business.