What’s it Like to Work with Me?

conflictIt’s an interesting question. We all would like to respond with words like awesome, great, helpful, and hardworking. And in some regards, this could be true. Though often when I work with a team, I hear a lot of blaming. I’ve tripped through enough relationship potholes to know that it takes two to tango. I can try to give all the relationship advice in the universe; but in the end, it has to start with personal accountability.

What’s it like to work with me?

When we start with this question and take time to assess a true, honest, gut-wrenching assessment of the answer, real progress can be made. I wish there was a device we could all wear that would help us listen better. I mean listen not just to words but to body language, reactions… you know, the gray area of our communication. The things others wish we would hear.

Here are some basement and balcony questions from a StrengthsFinder coaching perspective that I would likely ask:

  1. Does your behavior make others feel you are combative? How can you offset this perception?
  2. Does your need to talk seem like gossip to your coworkers? How can you interrupt this pattern?
  3. Do your words tear others down or lift them up? How can you speak with a positive intent?
  4. Do you feel smarter and more educated than your coworkers? Do you use this in a way that pushes people away? How can you prevent this?
  5. Do you feel your decisions and actions are always right? Are you humble to admit when you are wrong?
  6. Are you so stuck in your ways that others find you offensive and standoffish? Do you care if you’re perceived that way?

Many times, when confronted with the truth of our actions, it’s a stop-in-your-tracks kind of moment. While it’s easier to blame others, real growth happens when we grasp, “I may be a part of the issue here.” Consider taking a new look at the problem and asking yourself some of the above questions. Some introspective time could save your job, your relationship, or a friendship.