We've all been there, or if you have not yet, will be in a space where you find you're having to defend yourself in the workplace. Why? It's a direct result of low trust, hopefully, not poor performance on your part.
Covering your ass is an essential job skill!
I am excited to share some tips on how to ensure you won't be preoccupied with worrying yourself about having your integrity questioned.
Cover Your Ass...CYA for short. Why must one protect themselves to such extremes? Low trust in the workplace. There is a multitude of examples of office scenarios where you're integrity is questioned or idea was stolen and you don't have any proof on the record because you've been vilified. But I'll spare you the examples, instead, we'll focus on avoiding the aforementioned from occurring. However, if you find yourself in this situation, you would have taken the necessary and practical steps to ensure succession on your part.
The three key priorities of building a trusting CYA process are the following:
CC: ing, BCC: ing yourself on emails
Now, this may be a little extreme for some, or storage space in your email platform may be an issue you run into, but you can simply ask for more storage space or limit copying yourself on email to only pertinent ones in the event you need to refer back to an event or incident that can help save your hide because of good record keeping.
When asked to complete a task or project be sure to close the loop on the initial communication requesting to have the task or project completed. This helps builds trust with your leader, clients, and key stakeholders. This will alleviate having to copy yourself on all communications going forward. The short amount of time it takes to send a recap email will mean less time defending yourself.
This one here takes me back to my high school and college days. However, keeping accurate notes will help clear up miscommunications. Further, it can assist in refreshing your memory before your meetings. or conversations. One of the best applications I've found to use is the Microsoft Office One Note; there is a multitude of functions you can use to keep yourself on task and organized. Keeping notes is a record of what was said, what was promised, and the outcome.
Doing great work involves grit, tenacity, resilience, fearlessness, and innovation. The last thing you want to do is constantly be in a state of stress and anxiety at your workplace trying to cover your tush, if this becomes unbearable you may have to consider if this is the right workplace for you.
In the meantime, for those who are in a thriving workplace place environment that fosters trust, teamwork, and individuality, there's nothing wrong with ensuring your integrity is intact when questioned.
Covering your ass keeps people honest and allows you to hold yourself and others accountable. Remember: protects yourself and always know that it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.