The Ideal Working Relationship

1 12 2010

Quick Note: This isn’t about me or anything that happened to me.  Not ranting because anyone was mean to me.  Just sayin…

Time to get my rant on.

Everyday we are thrown into situations where we have to interact with other people.  When facing these scenarios we have two very generalized paths we can take.  The first option is to be humble, helpful and cooperative.  The second option is to be rude, manipulative, and arrogant.

I understand that people have different management styles and some people interact differently, but I’m pretty sure I’ve come to the conclusion that there is never a proper time for being mean.  In my profession you experience the whole spectrum of how people interact, especially in stressful situations.  You have some people (who I feel I identify best with) that approach support staff and colleagues with equality and friendship.  I don’t treat secretaries like they are below me just because their rank falls somewhere under me on the organizational chart.  It’s much easier to coexist and be productive with your coworkers when you foster a friendly working relationship.

On the other hand you have some people who prefer to interact in a more aggressive and dominating role.  These people can go berserk on a whim and oftentimes will exhibit deep anger for no important reason.  These people treat others they work with like peons who are simply there to do their bidding.  They have little understanding of the reality outside of their own world because they always assume they are correct.  Most of the time everyone just gets by though with a little grumbling of dissatisfaction.  No major blowups in day to day activity.  In my opinion though, this is not a healthy way to treat people.

The problem arises in a stressful situation.  Maybe a deadline is approaching and things are behind schedule.  Perhaps something has gone wrong with a project and some mistakes slipped by.  It could even be that a simple miscommunication or misunderstanding has taken place.  This is where the different types of people really make or break the situation.  When I’m faced with a stressful situation or if something has gone horribly wrong I try my best to stay calm, approach this situation logically, figure out how to fix the problem, work with others to fix it, and move on.  Seems reasonable enough.  I’m not perfect of course and sometimes the stress can get the better of me.  It happens, we make mistakes, we freak out in difficult times sometimes.  Learn from it.

So what happens with the other personality type?  Irate phone calls with lots of cursing.  Emotional decisions based on quick reactions rather than carefully considered options.  Hurt feelings.  Bridges burned.  Jobs lost/quit.  Bad bad stuff.  I think we can all agree that getting angry and upset is generally counterproductive.  It’s also unprofessional and does nothing to foster good working relationships.  One bout of yelling can permanently ruin a working relationship.

I don’t know why it happens.  I know we are emotional beings, but as adults we need to do a better job of having control over our extreme emotions.  Throwing a temper-tantrum and freaking out does little towards getting the job done.

It just seems so simple to me.   If you are faced with a stressful situation, stop for a second and ask yourself, “Am I being a dick?”  If the answer to that question is YES then maybe you should reevaluate how you are acting.

I’ve always been a bit of an idealist.  I just want people to get along and have nice, happy, fun times together.  Life should be all full double rainbows and unicorn farts.  I know that’s ridiculously naive, but I think we could be a lot closer to that perfect utopia if everyone just got a grip on their emotions and decided it would best serve society if we worked together and treated each other with some respect.

I think my point is pretty clear, but just to sum it up in a quick sentence: Don’t be a dick.


And on a totally unrelated note, my Brown Leaf Wheat is officially bottled!  I will be sure to let you know how it turns out!




3 responses

1 12 2010

Errrr….so familiar sounding? This reminds me of your first boss once you were a lawyer. What an irrational, crazy b@tch!

1 12 2010

I sure hated her! She was so mean to me! 😉

5 12 2010

Goeffrey — You are wise beyond your years. If only more people could possess your wisdom…….. there would be a lot more harmonious work places.

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