I’m a big fan of ‘bringing yourself to work’, and I always have been. I suspect it’s because I’m too simple minded to try and have multiple personalities – but I’ve always figured that if people don’t like or respect me for who I am then that’s OK. No big deal. Better that than I become a pretend person for others.
As I collected my morning coffee from James this morning (7th customer of the day apparently) – he mentioned that I was the first person to say say ‘good morning’ to him. He must have seen me looking confused, because he went on to explain that those before me had replied “Toffee Nut Latte” or similar when he greeted them. Rude.
Then I got to thinking about the lady in Sainsbury’s who waited until a customer had stopped talking on their phone before putting their shopping through, and how I felt the companies response (an apology) was wrong. Talking on the phone when someone else is talking to you? Rude.
And the poll from the Telegraph would indicate that 89% agree with me (unsurprisingly). I asked a few people in my local Sainsbury’s about it – they were disgusted with their own executives that day.
Then there are the countless people I see on aircraft refusing to take their headphones off or make eye contact with the air crew serving them drinks and food, checking if they are OK, and generally caring for their passengers. How would you feel if you were talking to someone and they didn’t make eye contact? No excuses. Rude.
I was brought up to treat others the way I want to be treated. It’s not hard – and it makes sense. Sometimes I can take it to far I’ll admit; last week on the train I had a bag of jelly babies and offered them around the carriage – either listening to the voice of my mum telling me to share or embracing my inner Doctor Who. You decide.
So when I start working with companies on their leadership, their company culture or their level of employee engagement I’m ever watchful for those that conceal themselves from their colleagues, manage their image upwards (and downwards) – and generally seem to focus too much of their time on trying to be someone else.
I’ve found that the people who do not fit their corporate cultures are often in this mould, and I’ve come to believe that it’s a side effect of trying to be different people all the time.
If you do that, then you are setting yourself up with different internal beliefs, and in turn that effects your behaviour. You’ll never be truly comfortable, or fit in with the tribe at any company you work for because there’s an internal level of indecision and discomfort that is holding you back – and others can sense it.
So bring your authentic self to work. It will make a difference.