The face you wear at work and the face you have out of the office might be one in the same, but usually it’s different. Wouldn’t it be easier to just be yourself? Well, of course, but somewhere along the way we get sucked into the need to perform a certain way at work and think we have to wait until we get home to “let down our hair” and show the real us. Hmmm… This can confuse the dickens out of those we lead and even if they can’t articulate where the confusion is coming from, some might say they see a Jekyll one minute and Hyde the next.
Clarity of who you are, clears up that confusion. Yet when we contradict who we are and what’s important to us, it doesn’t feel good for anyone. For example, if you feel you should be a buddy to that employee, but company policy dictates “no fraternization”, we end up suppressing what we think we should do. If you feel you should write a person up, but Human Resources says no, for whatever reason, you end up in a state of conflict and contradiction. If it’s carried to far, it leads to contradiction that will then come out in your words, thoughts, feelings, and actions. Some will give up, at which point the role becomes a mere job for which you have no passion. Some will aggressively stand their ground, for which you might gain the reputation of being tough to work with.
To avoid the conflict and contradiction of the roles you feel you should play as a leader, seek compromise. Keep an even keel and approach the challenge with professionalism. Remember, Contagious Leaders respond to unreasonable situations in reasonable ways. How can you reach the desired end goal or outcome and make it a win-win for all? If that’s your focus, you’ll find a way. What you don’t want to focus on is how much it irks you that you can’t see the solution just yet. Keep your eye on the goal and creativity will maintain momentum, providing you with ideas on a way to get to the goal. Besides, remember the cartoon Jekyll and Hyde with Bugs Bunny? He wasn’t too creative when he was the monster…you won’t be either.
Monica Wofford, MBA, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and author who helps managers who were promoted, actually become prepared to lead.
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Monica Wofford, CSP
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