Independence – why and how to use it wisely at work…

“Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.” – Dr Stephen Covey


Independence is a two-edged sword. The lone wolf approach to independence can backfire badly – remember 127 Hours?! Tweet: Independence is a two-edged sword. The lone wolf approach to it can backfire badly. @Angel_HR_UK #MyUSPMonday goo.gl/0d1xdr
​Plus studies suggest while lone wolf work standards and leadership capabilities are usually high they’re often seen as uncompromising and lacking a sense of loyalty. After all there’s no ‘I’ in team, right?

Yet, employers want candidates who are able to act on initiative, identify opportunities and take a proactive approach to finding solutions.

Like most things it’s all a matter of balance. No man (or woman) is an island, as they say, and the workplace thrives on cooperation and collaboration. Tweet: No man (or woman) is an island and the workplace thrives on cooperation and collaboration. @Angel_HR_UK #MyUSPMonday goo.gl/0d1xdr
How to achieve this?

1. Understand the purpose of your organisation, your team and your role within that.

2. Remember to combine initiative with good judgement – taking the ‘initiative’ at every opportunity can translate as stepping on other people’s toes, so think before you act! Plus, see point 1 above.

3. Develop your emotional intelligence (or EQ) – that way you’ll know the best person, place and time to pitch your ideas! Find Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ here.

At interview

Employers like to see initiative-taking evidence. So remember to take the opportunity to highlight your ability to see opportunities or solve problems whilst showcasing your understanding of the role and what’s expected of you; your ability to communicate effectively and appropriately; as well as your flexibility and resilience.

What Next?:

We’d love to hear your ideas and comments around independence at work and how you take the initiative while benefitting the team as a whole!
Any particular issues or insights? Need help? Let us know!

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