A couple of weeks ago I shared how when responding to others, we should do so in kindness and not in anger, in order to truly help them understand how we feel and to increase the chances of a change. Today, I share with you another perspective on the same issue.
A few days ago, the way I responded to something at work made me question how much of myself I should bring in to the office. If you haven’t noticed, I tend to speak my mind and also like to make things clear. While working on something, I started explaining my point of view and through the conversation, surprised myself with my real reason for stating my thoughts. Because others were being more reserved, I felt as if I should have stayed quiet, but didn’t know how I could do that in similar situations.
Thankfully I was able to process this with someone that has a lot more experience than I do. He first encouraged me to be myself, and then shifted my view to see that when we are at work, the focus needs to be about the task at hand and not about us. This lifted a weight from my shoulders: it made me free to keep bringing myself to work while still adding value to my team. We need to be respectful and kind to each other, and are not expected to be robotic about our responsibilities. Unless disrespect occurred, the important thing to have in mind is, what is the goal? What is the purpose? In my case, feelings about something else were distracting me from what we were trying to accomplish. Remembering why we were doing what we were doing would have kept me on track.
My understanding came through a work experience, but it can be applied to all aspects of life. When we are discussing something, what is the goal of the discussion? When we are planning a trip, what is the goal of the trip? When we are thinking about moving, what is the goal in our lives or season?
Being right is usually not the real goal. If we are planning a vacation, getting my way is not equal to a vacation. A vacation by definition is relaxing time, and if we relax differently, my way is not going to be vacation for whoever is coming along. When we are talking about something, the goal should be to exchange ideas on the topic at hand and arrive to a consensus, not to impose thoughts on others or to quietly wait our turn to speak and not listen at all.
Our mind might trick us into thinking that we know the purpose, but seriously, do we? Do we know why we do what we do? I can share an eye-opening moment for me that just happened today ( I guess you can call this year the one where my mind got blown up repeatedly). I was telling my friend how I don’t really go out and she flat out asked: “why?” Where I live, the COVID restrictions have been lifted. I have a car and can go meet people, or have them over. I have gotten so used to being at home that I forgot why I was at home.
Let’s go back to basics and in the middle of a tough moment, remember the goal and the purpose of why we are doing whatever it is. Only when we name something will we have the power to work with it or through it.