Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How to Wear your Many Hats with Style

I was talking with a client who is a project manager the other day. She was telling me about all the many hats she had to wear. She wore the coach’s hat to mentor her team, the fireman’s hat to put out all the problem “fires,” and the court jester hat to infuse some humor into even the most difficult situations, just to name a few.

Some of us have to wear many different hats in our professional – and personal – lives. However, if you don’t wear your hats properly, you could end up with a fashion – and business – disaster. Here are three considerations for the next time you have to change hats.

Don’t Over-accessorize!
Never try to wear all your hats at once. You have seen people who wear too many accessories, they look overdone and cluttered. When you try to fulfill too many roles – or wear too many hats – at one time, the quality and efficiency of your work suffers. Be disciplined so that whatever hat you are wearing at any given time is given your full focus. It is okay to try to wear several hats, but take them one at a time and be the best you can be at each role.

Know What Hat Suits you.
You have probably seen someone in a style that you liked, but when you tried it on it did not have the same appeal. The same can go for business hats. Know your limits and your strengths and understand that you don’t have to be an expert at everything. Surround yourself with people whose strengths match your weaknesses and delegate those tasks to them whenever possible. If delegating is not an option, find an expert or a mentor to help you overcome your limitations.

Recognize When you Have Outgrown your Hat.
Change is inevitable. Styles change and figures change. In the fashion world, you know when someone is not willing to “let go.” In the business world, you must be prepared to adapt to new technology, industry trends, and situations by remaining aware of when it is time to move on. You may just need to switch hats depending on the situation you encounter or people you interact with. However, sometimes you have to toss out old hats entirely because they no longer fit you.

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