Changing Lanes – First Look in the Mirror

How many of you have had a boss or coworker who annoys or frustrates you? If you aren’t raising your hand right now, you are a lucky person, but pay attention because they are coming.

Before you change lanes and ditch the job, take a look in your mirrors. Often times, the solution is simply to look within and see where you can shift your judgments about that person and see them through a different lens.

A recent experience in my own life illustrates this. Someone I was supervising was annoying me. She was asking for more breaks because she was exhausted from the job intensity. I saw her as a complainer and whiner. All I wanted to say to her is “Suck it up and get over it.”

But I knew that wasn’t the solution. I was committed to finding a way to keep the relationship intact and empower her to step up in the position because I wanted to believe she was doing the best that she could.

I needed to look in the mirror and see where all the judgments were coming from. Within the mirror, I noticed where I was responsible for the situation. She was voicing her needs and expectations and I wasn’t. I had needs and expectations that I assumed the team would execute without explicitly stating them to the team. That had set me up for the frustration and annoyance I was feeling.

Once I realized that, I knew there was something I could do about it — voice my needs and expectations for my team. I did, and the frustration cleared. Everyone on the team, even the “complainer,” stepped up and met my expectations and they got more breaks. A win-win solution.

What I was annoyed by — voicing needs and expectations — was exactly what I personally needed to do. It always seems to work out that way. I invite you to look at where you may be frustrated and want to change lanes and see if you need to look in your mirrors first.

Where are you feeling frustrated with someone at work? Are there unvoiced expectations that may be causing it?

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