I must admit, I'm a bit of a hard-arse at work.
I'm direct yet I'm fair with tactfulness and respect for other people.
I'm the one that asks the simple, but difficult questions.
I'm the one who points to the elephant in the room. I wave to it, I point to it and I say "Hey, What about that elephant?"
There have been people in my career that don't like this approach — they prefer to only focus on the positive and not acknowledge the negative or the obvious.
There have also been people in my career who have respected and admired that approach because they can't do it.
I also admit, it takes a little bit of confidence to acknowledge the obvious weakness, or to hold someone to account.
I've gone through quite a bit of training in this area and I've had very direct feedback on how to handle this issue.
The issue of calling it when I see it. The confidence to look someone in the eye and say:
"We haven't reached agreement here."
"I don't agree and this is why."
"We're not talking about our weakness. Why aren't we talking about our weakness?"
Through all the counselling sessions, mentorship and ongoing trial and error, I've come to learn where this stems from.
It stems from a frustration when I see that people aren't pro active enough to try and help themselves before they seek help from me.
My son's teacher (who is in Primary School) has placed a sign on the class room wall that says 'Ask three before me' — this encourages the children, if they don't know how to do something, to ask three people in the classroom before they approach the teacher with the question.
Yes, I've considered putting this sign up in some of the offices I've worked in.
I am eternally frustrated by passive behaviour that sits back and awaits to be shown how to do something instead of seeking out the answer and then, coming to me with some possible solutions.
I am eternally frustrated by reactive behaviours that lack responsiveness and pro activeness in the face of, well ... anything.
For me — it might be completely different for you or anyone else — but for me, it stems from seeing two types of people.
One type inspires me, the other frustrates me.
One type of person wants to learn and waits to be told how to learn. The other teaches themselves and then asks questions to fill the gaps.
One person, when confronted by an issue has problems, the other has solutions.
One person complains, the other moves on.
One person expects to be told exactly what to do, the other seeks out information for themselves and comes to the table prepared to learn more.
One person blames, the other accepts their contribution and owns the problem.
One person expects fame, glory and confetti to fall from the sky whilst the other is busy getting shit done.
One person continually learns, whilst the other continually waits.
One person is slothful, whilst the other hustles.
One person plans, procrastinates and plans some more. The other person works hard, fails at times but keeps moving forward.
Which one are you?