Don't Bring It To WorkWhen people walk through your door in the morning, they don’t leave their problems behind. And that creates problems at work. Problems at home create, at the very least, distractions in the workplace. Many safety issues have been linked to preoccupied employees. The failure to deal with issues that are brought to work can result in high turnover, poor productivity, low morale and poor communication.
What you bring to work is not only your problems but the behavioral patterns that, in many cases, caused them. In Don’t Bring it to Work, Sylvia Lafair says that much of what you bring to work are patterns of behavior that are driven by the roles we learned in our families as children. And when the going gets tough, the tough frequently revert to old family patterns.
Lafair describes the 13 most common destructive patterns in the workplace — including the super-achiever, the rebel, the procrastinator, the clown, the persecutor, the victim, the rescuer, the drama queen or king, the martyr, the pleaser, the avoider, the denier, the splitter — and explains how they got that way, and how to tell (a Pattern Aware Quiz is included) if any of this baggage from your own background is weighing down your career.
The action step is not to break your patterns but to transform them; to become a “better, more developed, more fulfilled version of the person you already are.” For instance:
From Super-Achiever to Creative Collaborator
From Rebel to Community Builder
From Procrastinator to Realizer
From Clown to Humorist
From Persecutor to Visionary
From Victim to Explorer
From Rescuer to Mentor
From Drama Queen or King to Storyteller
From Martyr to Integrator
From Pleaser to Truth Teller
From Avoider to Initiator
From Denier to Trust Builder
From Splitter to Peacemaker
So the Rebel might sound like, “Can you believe he was so demeaning to her at the meeting? I’m going to tell her to get back at him by complaining to HR.” But the Community Builder would say, “In my old pattern, I would have loved to stir things up; however, it’s a waste of time, so I’ll talk to him privately about my concerns.”
“We like to think we are rational leaders,” writes Lafair. “Yet the fact is that we don’t always tailor our actions to the actual demands of a situation. Instead, we fall back on old ways of responding that are emotionally laden and sometimes horrendously counterproductive.” If you’re looking to deal with your old defensive behavior patterns and capitalize on your inner strengths, Don’t Bring it to Work would be a good place to start.
An abbreviated version of the Pattern Aware Quiz can be found online.
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