Do it your way

Doing the tasks at hand in your own way addresses the need for autonomy. It means that you are able to trust your skills, knowledge, experience and intuition regarding the best way to perform the job. It is yet another way to create meaning in your role, which in turn enhances job satisfaction, performance, and motivation.

Autonomy is a basic human need. Doing it your way, however, is not about arrogance or indifference to others, nor is it about working in isolation, doing what you want whenever you want, especially not if you work within a team. Autonomy also requires an understanding manager or leader, who is willing to grant you the safe space you need. At its best, doing your work your way (while still remaining considerate of the needs of your colleagues) is about self-empowerment – having trust in your abilities and giving yourself permission to shape your work environment so that you can perform to the best of your ability. It is a win-win situation for you, your team and your employer.

Consider the following questions on ‘doing it your own way’:-

  • How free are you to perform your tasks in your own time, outside the 09.00-18.00 time frame?
  • How fearful or micro-managed do you feel?
  • How encouraged and welcome do you feel to bring up new initiatives or suggest innovations?
  • How free are you to use your own tools to perform a task?
  • How free do you feel to learn and introduce new tools to perform your tasks?
  • How rigid and demanding do you feel your manager is towards you? And how rigid and demanding are you towards yourself?