Wednesday, September 7, 2011

To clarify

I've had several constructive insights into how I could do better at work, but one thing I want to clarify:

I do not yell or lose my temper. I am not a bear to work with in that respect at all. Maintaining composure under stress is something I pride myself on. I think my problems are more personality-oriented - my lack of interaction, the fact that I'm not very talkative, that sort of thing.


Anonymous said...

I hope that it wasn't my comment about the bear of a vet that I worked for...I wasn't trying to imply that that was your problem >.< only that even though he was an angry bear sometimes that most of the time he was laid back and personable and his anger was usually deserved...and he was the best boss I think I've ever had because of that...having boundaries is important for proper workplace functioning

What you describe sounds more like a robot than a bear...if we are going to go down that rout ^_~ and while robots are Very good at what they do, they aren't usually characterised as being warm and friendly people you would spend your free afternoon chatting to over a cup of tea (and not just because robots don't drink tea) least that's what I would go with from the description you have given yourself...hearing what your employees and friends have to say could paint an entirely different picture...or not...depending on how observant each person is

-prospective vet student

Ruth said...

Gonna stick my nose in, you can tell me to butt out, especially since I don't know you as a person at ALL.

I spent a year and a half working as a store manager in a retail environment. Learned alot about myself, including the fact that I was in the wrong sort of job.

One thing I learned is that overly blunt can be worse than rude (and often comes across that way). I had to learn to stop and think and reword so as to be less blunt and come across as caring a bit more. Learned to add please and thank you to the end of damn near everything. It was automatic, but I said it. Both of those made a HUGE difference in my ability to get along with the folks I was managing. My mother never has learned those lessons and her over bluntness has soured alot of coworkers to getting to know her further.

Dr. May B. Insane said...

Intended to comment before but just now getting around to it:)

I'm a type A, OCD, introverted, control freak loner who demands perfection from myself and spends most of my time beating myself up over the inability to reach my goal. Somehow, though, people love to work with me. The word of encouragement is that it is possible to train yourself even when far from being a people person.

I set definite boundaries in my head determining what topics were ok to discuss with coworkers (and for that matter, friends). They do not have to be told what is off limits, I just calmly ignore comments or questions that step beyond my boundary line and change the subject. I talk a lot about my pets and most everyone wanders away when I pull out the photos... Just kidding but it is a safe topic that is fairly easy to chat about since it interests me and makes people feel that I'm being personal.

The "please" and "thank you" comment is also right on track. I say both with almost every thing including what I consider the person's job that they should just do. Honey does work better than vinegar, as they say.

My other trick is my sense of humor. I have learned to laugh at things that make me want to cry and to make horribly dry, sarcastic comments that make me feel a lot better but most people don't even get. Because they don't get the comment, they also don't realize I'm picking on them. It's usually a win-win situation.

Lastly, perhaps I'm overly cynical, but I don't expect much from the people around me. I find that this leads to being pleasantly surprised if they do well and less frustration, in general, if they do not. Maybe it's just my control-freak nature coming out and wanting to do it all myself anyhow. At the same time, make yourself look for the good in people rather than focusing on their failures. I try to praise my employees and coworkers especially when I'm frustrated by them; it usually brings out a desire to do better.

I think the trick is to identify what you would like to change about yourself and your interactions with others then develop little "exercises" to work on facilitating that change. If I can do it, I know you can without even knowing you personally. And lastly, you don't even really have to change as long as you learn how to put on a professional mask really well. I'm still the same type A, OCD, introverted, control freak loner inside and at home but I mask that really well at work and in front of my clients. Or maybe I just have a split personality, who knows?

nagonmom said...

Please and thank you, yes. Good habits. Neutral topics (weather, pets, movies, TV if you indulge, or the common "How you doing?" can work. If you are into local sports, that can take you thru an entire season. Cooking is a common topic, food, local restaurants. Asking for advice on things like car repair or plumbers, whatever you need, solicit opinions (but be careful if someone's spouse works the trade you are asking about!). You don't have to get personal or spill your guts, I would recommend NOT, because you still need to generate some respect, and need to have your orders followed in an emergency. And here is my biggest tip, go out of your way to give positive feedback immediately when it is due. In private if possible, to avoid jealousy issues. Be specific. "I really appreciate how gentle you were with that difficult owner." What ever applies. People will work their butts off if they feel appreciated, and if what they do is noticed. And if you can't say something nice in a social situation, you know, don't say anything. Better than opening your mouth to find truth falling out. Practice your wise smile and move on.