Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's all about me (the rest of you are wrong!)

In cleaning out some old files, I came across old performance reviews from previous jobs.

Some of them were not good.

Indeed, I left a couple of jobs after bad reviews - usually voluntarily, sometimes not.

I quit my last job in part because of a review I considered unfair. It was my choice to leave, but there was still a bad taste in my mouth.

However, in looking at some of those previous bad reviews, I saw some patterns.

I grumbled defensively in every case about the review being unfair and inaccurate.

Yet some of the things they criticized me for - some of the things I got defensive about - were fair criticisms. I tend to offend with my sense of humor. I tend to come across as arrogant. I tend to be sarcastic. I tend to seem angry and hostile. I tend to have a hard time interacting with others and relating to them.

I've always tried to excuse my words and actions by saying I have an off-beat sense of humor or that I'm reserved. Those traits may be true of me, but I relied on them as excuses rather than trying to change or grow when I could or should.

Now that I'm starting a new job, I'm working on making a conscious effort to watch my words and to interact better with others. I'm trying to smile more and to focus on the positive. I'm trying to bite my tongue when I want to make some smart aleck or critical remark. I'm trying to make time for others, to listen to them and to show them that I care about them.

With God's help, maybe this time I'll get it right!

Pax et bonum

1 comment:

Do Not Be Anxious said...

I think the last point is the most crucial in your post, Lee, showing that you care about them --- and their ideas and opinions. It takes very deliberate work, reminding yourself, looking back over your day --- honestly --- and asking yourself if you belittled someone else either by sarcasm or ignoring their ideas.

It took deliberate effort for me to be less sarcastic --- and by less I mean most days not making a sarcastic comment. I found that sarcasm directed at a person or his actions is almost always taken negatively, despite my belief of it as humor. And thinking I always had the best answer to problems led me to ignore others' input too often. EVERYONE has some value, and so do their ideas, even if in some small way. And they need to be thanked for their ideas, and made to feel good.

Developing a sincere caring about others takes work before it becomes a habit, but when it does you suddenly notice how much they care about you.

I did.