You might expect kids or teenagers to think their feelings matter more than anything else.
But by the time you’re an adult, you should know better. Feelings matter but tasks and relationships usually matter more.
Some simple examples I encountered recently:
To read the rest of this article from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, see:
No, your feelings aren’t that important in the workplace
These people think they can act out in any way they want in order to express themselves. They look and sound like the spoiled brats from “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
I call them “professional victims,” because they’re bullies who gain power and control by acting as if they’ve been wronged or victimized. Other people cater to them in order to avoid the next explosion or they rush in to make them happy at someone else’s expense.
Some people see this kind of behavior as generational - something a spoiled younger generation does because they were raised to think their feelings are the most important things in the world. And some might see it as the behavior of technology geeks who don’t have good inter-personal skills.
Not so in the cases I listed. My examples involve people in their 50s, not their 20s. They weren’t new in the workplace. They should have known better.
Of course, feelings can be useful signals about what we like or don’t like. But it’s a mistake to think we can or should act out in any way they drive us.
Manners have come in for a lot of criticism as outmoded and silly conventions, or as conventions one culture tries to force on another culture. These are very limited understandings.
Manners and “professional behavior” are a kind of grace. As Willard Spiegelman points out in his book, “Seven Pleasures,” the good grace of manners is the bedrock of a diverse society. Grace and manners encourage and require civility. Without them, we cannot have high standards of professional behavior and we descend into a free-for-all of self-expression.
In a free-for-all atmosphere where anything goes, the first casualties are self-discipline, restraint, tasks - and success.
The best way to learn how to create a civil, polite and results-oriented culture in your workplace, is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and organizational consulting.
Design and implement an effective plan that eliminates the high cost of low attitudes. To get the help you need, call Ben at 1-877-828-5543.