While you may not know this, that idea you bounced off of your manager the other day and your response to her questions on one of your projects both play a critical role in your near future success and the speed of growth in your paycheck!

The best managers work in a perpetual mode of talent scouting, focused on assessing the people on their teams and actively looking for individuals they can trust with more responsibility. The impressions you create when the boss is present run deep and will positively or adversely impact your next steps.

What Effective Managers are Listening and Looking For:

  • Do you understand our business?
  • Do you understand our customers?
  • Do you think through issues from all perspectives?
  • Do you bring fresh creativity to solving problems?
  • Do you understand how your ideas or approaches might impact other parts of the organization?
  • Do you rail and rally against “this is the way we’ve always done it” thinking?
  • Can you build coalitions and rally resources to resolve problems?
  • Are your ideas innovative?
  • Do you display leadership even if you’re not in charge of anyone but yourself?
  • Does your thinking and do your approaches align with our values?
  • Have you sought out others for help?
  • Are you operating with a sense of controlled urgency?
  • Have you learned from prior mistakes?
  • Are you striving to develop yourself and advance your career?

On the Dark Side:

  • Are you attempting to manipulate me?
  • Do you have an agenda that you’re not openly highlighting?
  • Do you focus on others instead of yourself?
  • Do you strive to show everyone you are the smartest person in the room?
  • Is the solution to a problem always to give you more people and power?
  • When you talk, does my spider-sense tingle on whether you fit our culture and values?
  • Do you take credit or dispense credit?
  • Do you delay, forestall and derail with your hesitancy?
  • Are you on auto-pilot in your career and in this job?

The Bottom-Line for Now:

Someone once asked me when I take the time to evaluate performance and my response was something to the effect of “During every conversation and in every meeting.”

Jack Welch once offered this comment on the role of a leader: “Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team, using every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach and build self-confidence.”

I love coaching and helping build self-confidence, but the best bosses are always in “evaluation” mode. And while evaluation is best handled over time and through many exposures, don’t discount the impact of your performance in the moment.

Originally published at artpetty.com. Published with permission.