Wednesday 4 February 2009

Giving References

I was recently asked to act as a reference for a couple of people, and that got me thinking about the policy most organisations seem to have on this kind of thing (i.e. don’t do it). I can understand where this came from – representing the opinion of your company is a significant responsibility which has all too often been wielded by the undeserving.

Obviously I’d never advise flying in the face of company policy, but I really like giving references. In fact, I consider being able to give a good reference to be a lagging indicator of great success with people.
You see, if I’m able to give a good reference for someone, it means two things:

1. We’ve had a successful, effective working relationship in which we’ve helped each other deliver tangible value to the business.

2. I’ve been able to help that person develop professionally, and I’m now helping them to continue to grow their career.

Is there any greater satisfaction to be had in management? It’s why I do the job.

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