Lately I have noticed I’m not as nice as I would like to be. While I take full responsibility for being a meanie, I must realize some of the root causes. The major cause is the people I work with. They tend to be not nice to certain people in the office. I’d like to absolve myself and say I don’t join in, but the fact is I do. Sometimes to get a laugh, others just to add to the conversation. Upon reflection, I know this is wrong, yet I still find myself doing it. Another cause is me reacting negatively to criticism in my work. If I make a mistake I get defensive and tend to gripe and complain about the critic. Again, while this feels good, it is wrong. I know I have to change, and I plan to work hard over the next few weeks to not be mean. Here are my two ‘to do’s’
Don’t react — Think first
First, I instead of reacting, I have to think first. Stephen Covey Habit 1 – be proactive. Instead of reacting to the criticism I hear, and trying to rationalize my mistake away, I should ‘admit it frankly’ and correct the error. I should think about what I am hearing rather than just flying off with a natural reaction. Reacting is a negative habit, one I would rather do without. Proacting is a positive habit that I need to cultivate to reverse my ‘mean streak’.
What if I were that person? How would I feel? How would I want to be treated? Answer those questions, and act accordingly. It’s very easy to marginalize how you treat others. All you have to do is not think about their feeling. Tell yourself they are somehow different from you. In fact, they aren’t, they are just like you. When I think of it like that, I feel bad, and I should. Sometimes we have to wear a different shoe and we would act differently.
Sometimes we need to walk away from people who have a negative influence on us. I have two ways to combat this. First tell them to stop, try to play the good cop in the group. Second if that doesn’t work, walk away. Remember they have the right to behave as they wish, you can’t change that. You can however choose not to be around them.
My challenge for the next month, is to make a concerted effort to be nicer to others. I will NOT join in on talking bad about someone. I will NOT react to criticism. I will make every effort to be courteous to all who cross my path. I WILL make every effort to think about my choices them choose an appropriate response. I promise!