“When Bob has a problem with everyone, the problem is generally not everyone. The problem is Bob!”
Sometimes people say things that resonate with you so intensely that the lesson stays with you for years to come. I once had a boss who often made the “Bob” statement. His way of confirming someone’s lack of good social awareness and the inability to play nice in a team environment. Whenever I heard him saying it, it always made me more conscious of my own actions and interactions. It made me reflect on and consider my own behaviour.
Being able to step back and objectively see yourself warts and all, as others may see you can be a little bit uncomfortable. But, then to acknowledge your “warts” and take responsibility for how your behaviour has directly affected someone, can be exceptionally difficult.
If you succeed in developing and strengthening your emotional intelligence the benefits are not just for your own personal growth, but it improves the longevity and quality of your relationships with your colleagues and customers. Strong, trusting professional relationships can only strengthen your business by building motivated productive team members, and increasing your employee retention.
If you think you may be a “Bob” and may be alienating your colleagues and team members with your behaviour, start by asking yourself the following. Both questions have been inspired by Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
- Do you listen to understand first, before trying to be understood? The next time you have a conversation with one of your colleagues, try not to steamroll through your point or opinion at the beginning of the conversation. Stop and let them speak first. Actively try and understand what they are saying to you. By being conscious of this, it will hopefully prevent you from paying them lip service and assuming what they are trying to say before they actually say it.
- Do you think win-win? This is not High School. It’s not about whoever wins the race gets the prize. If you really want to win in the business world you need to think smarter. The next time you go into a discussion, go in with the mindset of team collaboration. Think how the the discussion outcomes can be mutually beneficial to all parties. You may need to stretch your thinking and consider options which you have never considered before. Be curious. Remember, its not always about you.
If you think you may be a “Bob” and need assistance. Contact Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org for professional business coaching.