Asking vs Telling… Which do you believe will receive the more cooperative response?
When you ask you are pulling knowledge from another. When you tell you are pushing knowledge at another. So again, take a wild guess on which creates the better dynamic, especially if you are trying to work with others and build relationships. And here is one last helpful hint if you haven’t landed the answer… When was the last time you thought it would be awesome to have some shove their knowledge in your face?
You are not perfect, but you are in good company as no one is. Trying to project perfection in an imperfect world is a fool’s errand. It will exhaust you and confuse others. People benefit from being able to relate and/or learn from your challenges. You make yourself more accessible to others empowering their growth by being authentic rather than projecting false perfection.
You are not perfect. And that is what makes you great!
The phrase “go with the flow” is so over used it is useless. But the meaning is still relevant. How often do you find yourself ‘forcing’ behavior rather than just being who your are? We all do it on some scale. The question is why do we do it? Some of it may be based in imposter syndrome.
Dr. Joan Harvey wrote a book back in the mid 1980s about imposter syndrome. I believe she estimated 70% of people have some experience with it. Dr. Kate Clancy wrote and interesting article about it in Scientific America this past August with a brilliant point that is most relevant, “privileges perceived legitimacy from attitude and pedigree over actual ability.” I feel that translates outside of the field of science as well. We don’t feel we have the legitimacy we need to be who we want.
Ironically what provides us credibility are our actions and our results, which are less likely to come to light if we fear we may not be ‘qualified.’ Unless you are in a field that requires accreditation to practice, such as medical or legal, who is to say who is qualified and who is not?
What this all comes down to is in the majority of circumstances we are the ones limiting ourselves, no one else. The opportunity in knowing this is choosing not to do so anymore.
There is a fine line between going with the work flow and being part of the problem rather than solution within the workplace.
At one time or another most of us have experienced the thought of “I’ll just do it so the boss will be happy.” We do it knowing without a doubt that there is a better way. There is also often a propensity to be passive when it comes to workplace morale issues, as in poor morale. We say “there is nothing I can do about it” or “it won’t change anything if I speak up.”
Being passive makes you part of the problem. It helps perpetuate the negative cycle. This isn’t to say you should go get in the boss’s face and point out flaws in her/him or the system. It is to say that there is a constructive way you can address the issues. There is opportunity to be a leader. There is an opportunity to be a change agent. There is an opportunity to increase productivity, boost morale, etc.
Is it easier to sit by and just collect a paycheck? Yep. But it isn’t more rewarding.
If you want your people to produce and grow you need to meet them where they are, not where you wish they were, or where you want them to be. Not meeting someone where they are will immediately trigger their defensive mechanisms and make the process more difficult than necessary.
So there you go, meet people where they are and provide the path you’d like to see them on. This is good leadership. Just be aware that some have no intention of going down the path of professionalism, productivity and growth; subsequently, meet them where they are, but don’t stay too long.
While bringing people to the next level, those who are resistant may become a time drain. Worse yet you can one day realize you’ve lowered your overall expectations based on their positioning. My advice to you in such a situation is the obvious, don’t do that.
I coined the term “unleash the power of your inner kitten” while coaching a gentleman who was very detached emotionally at work. Many of us are like that as we were professionally groomed to keep our emotions out of the workplace.
Keeping emotions out of the equation, one, is not realistic and two, is not productive. This is in no way an endorsement for time-wasting emotional outburst etc. This is however a reminder that when you bring authentic kindness to the table you will begin to see how the comfort level of others raises, as does their willingness to support and take risks for you.
Warning: If you are being inauthentic, they will know and the converse will take place.
Additional warning: If you are thinking you can take advantage of someone unleashing their inner kitten, you are wrong. Even kittens have the ability to do some serious damage when being messed with.
Are we living in a world that markets to us that it is equal opportunity yet doesn’t deliver? I found the following link from Little PINK Book a brief interesting item on the likelihood of women landing executive leadership positions. Why is this relevant? Because it is easy to be “marketed” into an environment that tells you that you have equal opportunity when you don’t. The outcome is you believing it isn’t the environment that is the issue it is you. That unhappy scenario only leads to perpetuating the cycle. It also explains women leaving the ranks due to burnout before hitting executive leadership.
I was reading a blog the other day about social media marketing. It occurred to me how similar social media marketing and connecting professionally/personally are. I believe two points in the blog post I read are particularly important to remember:
Numbers and quality should not be individualized. (If you lose quality you will eventually lose numbers.)
Frequency of engagement counts.
All this is to say if you are overextended and telling yourself you are “maximizing” your time, you are kidding yourself. Being over extended will lead to numbers overtaking quality and a lower sense of engagement from those you believe (falsely) you are connecting with. It really is that simple.
The blog referenced above follows:
Did you know that procrastination is a form of self-sabotage? An article in the October 2011 issue of “Psychology Today” shares, “When it comes to self-sabotage, procrastination is king.” Why does such a harmless behavior such as procrastination merit such an ugly title? There are a myriad of reasons, but for the sake of brevity here are two primary ones.
One, it creates a pattern in us that we begin to believe. We begin to believe that we are procrastinating for a valid reason. So internally that is what we see as happening. Externally, others view your behavior as irrational or irresponsible. That is a misperception gap that can have huge negative implications.
Secondly, when we delay action by procrastinating a very obvious thing happens…we delay action. Mark Twain’s quote about eating the frog first thing in the morning and the rest of the day will be better applies to procrastinators. Whatever you are putting off, for whatever reason, will not be any better if you wait to do it.
The short-term mood repair we gain by procrastinating does not merit the damage that will be done. Procrastination messes up your ability to create and implement through setting strong intentions. It undercuts how people perceive you as a doer and label you as a talker. Procrastination allows your emotions to run wild and leave you subject to whims rather than controlling your day. And while you may think that you are merely putting off one task, the reality is you are completely undermining your ability to set and implement both short and long-term goals.
The following is a post regarding what a boss needs to remember. It is great etiquette and a nice checklist when it comes to presenting an executive presence. The one that caught my eye and that I see most often is number eight, “Don’t Forget Your Facial Expressions.”
So often we are not aware of our facial expressions. We may be thinking and feeling one way but our expressions do not convey it. Subsequently, mixed messages are presented to employees who are not sure what to think. The good news is it is easy to address. If you are pleased, happy, etc., tell your face.
Now back to the post…