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Want to See Results? Ask Yourself “What do you bring?”

Do you get tired of hearing about, and maybe dealing with, all the schmucks at work? People with bad attitudes, smart mouths, cynical minds and sour faces? I sure do. And maybe because it was a full moon week, I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about what a pain they are and how ugly they can make a workplace.

It takes no special skill to be a jerk. And sometimes — face it — we all feel like one. Do you share your jerkdom when it descends on you?

I know that seems like a silly question, but I’m serious in asking it. What do you bring with you to work each day? How do you respond to annoyances? What’s your standard MO? Do you match sarcasm for sarcasm? Searing glance for searing glance? Exasperated sigh for exasperated sigh? Nasty bit of gossip for nasty bit of gossip? It’s easy to do. In some places, it gains you entrance into the group that seems to reflect a place’s culture.

How about calling on what’s best in you instead? If you made up your mind to be proud of yourself after every exchange with another person, what would you do differently when you heard a sarcastic remark? How would you react to a searing glance? An exasperated sigh? A nasty bit of gossip?

Take a minute to consider the positive attributes you could bring to any situation if you wanted to. Maybe you’re the one who could interject a respectfully humorous comment to offset and de-contaminate rudeness. Maybe your patience allows you to let stupid remarks go unanswered. Maybe your focus reminds people of what’s important. Maybe your energy makes work toward a goal really fun.

There’s so much crap in our world that sometimes it’s hard not to get poisoned and discouraged by it. It’s a cliche by now to know that “you have a choice.” The fact is, you do. But before you can make a choice, you have to slow down long enough to consider what you want. Whether that’s an outcome, a culture, or a state of mind, take responsibility for your role in it and ask yourself “What do I bring to this?”

Categories: General Advice