Just put your head down.
Do your job.
And then go home.
How many of us have heard someone say this about their “career”?
Or even worse, have had it directed at you about yours?
Those statements are gross.
Imagine how awful your day-to-day existence would be if that is what you had to do to get by.
No thank you.
Through the years I have heard statements in the workplace that have made me personally cringe.
Those statements that people seem to say to appear to be in control of their surroundings.
Here are a few:
“I’m not here to make friends.”
Okay champ, but if you come here every single day and not one soul likes you that seems to be a depression party waiting to happen. We have to connect. We have to establish rapport. We have to know each other so that we can serve and coexist in an environment that welcomes. I’m not saying you need to slap a friendship bracelet on your work besties, but it doesn’t hurt to know who you are with every day!
“Just make the work good enough and move on.”
I don’t know about you, but I prefer to be proud of my work. Good enough means that I am not taking pride and not taking pride means that my work can be seen as shotty. That isn’t the vision that I want for myself.
“Just smile and nod. Don’t make waves.”
Whoa. I am not a robot. I know this may shock a select few, but I have an actual opinion and a pretty legit way of sharing that without being harsh or combative. If we don’t allow opinions and brainstorming, how can our staff and business ever evolve? Not every opinion needs to be a Mortal Kombat type of interaction.
“Less chit chat and more work.”
This happens to be one of the most annoying statements to me. First, I am a chit chatter. It is how I connect with people around me. Whether that be as a member facing chat or a staff facing chat, this is the only way to understand someone’s ask. I used to have a boss that would not even be close to the chat and would walk by and condemn the chat for happening. Work in silence. Yeah, that seems fun and appealing to those around us. Yikes. Maybe they are chatting about work? Maybe they are solving a world problem? Maybe they are just connecting as employees or members. Chopping off communication, chops off the ability to establish loyalty.
“They are just like that. Don’t take it personal.”
No. No and also NO. If the “way” someone is, upsets the harmony of the work environment then there needs to be some changes on their part. Someone can be blunt without being harsh. Someone can be to the point without being heartless. We cannot excuse behavior because “that is the way that they are”. That is no different than the dreaded “we have always done it that way”. Nothing changes if NOTHING changes. Sometimes folks need to be coached and these situations should be a key example of when to swoop in and start that process.
Now I know that just saying these things out loud is not going to change the course.
I just feel that acknowledging some of the things that we have become immune to in the workforce is a good reminder to ourselves not to be a part of the continued problem.
How we speak to each other…
How we communicate…
How we present ourselves…
Nobody wants to hold a conversation with a robot.
I mean, if I did, it would definitely be the maid from the Jetson’s because she had some sass!
The point being…
We NEED personality, flair, and that extra “umph” to create a diverse environment that not only invests in those around you, but also provides that comfy atmosphere for those walking in.
I used to work with a gal that was extremely poker faced and very, very blunt.
That bluntness often hurt others and she was not bothered by that fact one single bit.
A smile from this gal was almost as extinct as the dinosaurs.
Her attitude and reactions happened to be a direct result of how she grew up and I knew that rewiring that was not something I was capable of doing.
What I was capable of, was doing little things here or there that would force her to crack a smile.
Oh, she didn’t want to give in with a positive expression, but she did!
In doing that, we developed a rapport that allowed us to speak openly about things that may have otherwise been difficult.
I was able to tell her when she came across extremely harsh and she was able to explain to me what she was trying to communicate.
I needed the freedom to be creative in my connection with her and she needed the freedom to explain herself when her words came out in a way that was less than appealing.
Now I don’t think I changed her entire way, nor do I think I am magical enough to do so.
I just needed to be able to work with her in a way that suited my day to day interactions.
I needed to “chit-chat” and not just “smile and nod”.
I needed to not just make it “good enough”, but rather be proud of the steps that we were taking as a team.
I didn’t need to tag her with a BFF necklace, I just needed to open up the dialog so that I could create a platform of understanding.
We spend most of our lives at work.
The people we work with are the ones that we spend more time with than our own families.
I can’t imagine how depressing it would be to put my head down, do my job, and just go home.
I challenge you not to do that.
Don’t just make waves, jump up and down and cause them.
Invest in your coworkers.
Invest in your team.
Invest in your employees.
Invest in creating loyalty.
It makes a difference.