Organizations with committed staff and leaders are more resilient and better able to adapt to change and respond to disruption in a flexible and innovative manner. But what is commitment and what does it look like? Commitment is dedication to a particular organization and a willingness to get involved. We demonstrate our commitment to colleagues and staff in many ways, large and small. Here are some ways you can demonstrate your commitment to your team:
- Do what’s right. Avoid rationalizing to make what’s wrong right in your own mind. While we all work in gray areas, don’t get drawn into the trap of rationalizing and justifying that doing something that is wrong is right. I always ask myself whether I would proudly testify to Congress about my actions.
- Join committees and working groups. Joining efforts that improve the group wellbeing shows you are committed to the entire organization, not just your own responsibilities. Find at least one activity you can be involved in that contributes to the common good.
- Show up. Attend celebrations, farewells, award ceremonies and other events in your organization.
- An open door is not enough. If you are a senior leader, walk around the organization and meet people in their work places. Saying you have an “open door” and expecting everyone to come to you if they need something is not enough. By spending time with people where they actually work and listening and becoming familiar with what they do, you’ll show them how committed you are to their work.
- Keep your promises. Don’t make a promise you cannot keep and keep the promises you make, no matter how hard it becomes to do so.
- Make time for people. The more senior you become, the more time you need to carve out on your calendar for the people who work for you. Mentor staff, help them achieve professional and personal success and develop individuals.
- Focus on team instead of personal achievements. Give credit to team members for a job well done. Celebrate team success. If you receive an award for a major accomplishment, spend some of that award money on the team that helped you win that recognition. When you are promoted, take your team to lunch to say thanks for helping you get there.
How do you demonstrate your commitment?
This blog does not represent official policies of the Department of State or those of the U.S. Government.