How being the “good guy” is killing you
Keys to being a good colleague, but at the same time standing for yourself
You are nice, we get it. You listen, you smile, you take notes. In the dictionary the your face pops up while defining the most awesome human in the world. You can’t help it, and that’s why it hurts when someone does not like you or constantly professes against you.
How could this be happening to me? — you think.
Well, it happens to everyone. People Skills is a trait that many lack and it is not easy to finally gather all the tools for you to be at least likeable; but while all that happens, while you try to build that professional persona that will be most awesome human in the world, life is happening and you are missing out.
Every professional scenario is a shark tank, and everyone is looking for the weakest link or the one hanging by the thinnest thread to just snap and ensure its permanence in the tank.
Being nice or being the good guy is quite easily portrayed as weakness, as looking for approval and the wolves are out there feeding of this while ensuring that every mistake you make is highlighted.
So, what to do?
- Embrace the niceness, to a point: Be polite, be civil but be stern. Express your opinions/orders/commentaries with maturity and finesse, be funny if you have to, and make sure that the message you are tying convey is fully understood. Be a good listener, pay attention, ask the right questions, be interested but to a point.
- Be on point with your responsibilities: Document all your moves, have a clear view of all your task, keep a tab, prioritise, know your limits, know other’s limits, keep your chain of command aware of all your actions and ensure the level of your work speak for you. Mouths can say a lot, paper can take all the ink… in the end what matters how what you do extrapolates to those you have under your wing.
- Nobody is your friend**: In the end, everybody works for a pay check; so if whatever you are doing gets on the way of someone else’s food, they will be like a mother lion taking care of its pups, and truth be told, you should be doing the same. You are defending your turf. When you get to the door of the office, you leave your friend-hat on the entrance, because you’ll have to fight with sticks and stones to make sure you do your job and keep moving forward.
You can be nice, of course you can! Everyone enjoys having someone likeable around, but make sure nobody confuses that, with being an easy target or weak link.
In the end, we are all humans and it is expected that we should at least get along, just for being part of the same species.
**Disclaimer: In my professional life I have met awesome human beings that I have the honor to call my friends, this title (which I had my concerns with) express only the general idea of always being aware that even friendly as it may be, you should always be focused.**