Management Tip of the Day: Give with caution

Tue Nov 2, 2010 11:21am EDT
 
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BOSTON (Reuters) - The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"Going above and beyond in the workplace is a good thing, right?

Whether you stay late to help out a colleague with an important presentation or you give a direct report credit for the success of an important project, you expect to be recognized and appreciated for your generosity.

But next time you are feeling selfless, think twice before acting on it.

Research has shown that selfless team members are often viewed negatively. Others may not trust your intentions (what is she getting out of this?) or think that you're breaking unspoken rules (doesn't she know she's making us look bad?).

This doesn't mean you shouldn't give, but be clear about the personal benefits to you. Explain what you stand to gain, whether it's payback down the road or simply the positive feeling of having helped someone. Your deed, and your explanation of it, may set a good example for others."

- Today's management tip was adapted from "Your Most Helpful Colleague (Don't You Hate Him?)" by Craig Parks.

 
<p>Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, November 13, 2008. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>