These days, lots of folks are overworked. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like others are pulling…
John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
As human beings we can’t help the impulse to compare ourselves to others. Sometimes that leaves us thinking we ought to know more than we know; ought to do better than we’re doing. Other times, especially in the BV practice where you may excel, it can leave you frustrated that a co-worker isn’t operating at full potential. Clinging to frustration about that will only drag you down.
This is one of those situations where you can’t change the other person, you can only change yourself. So, where do you start?
Say thank you. If you’re someone whose performance is top-shelf, it can be frustrating when others don’t seem to produce at the same level, or “see around corners” to anticipate what’s needed next. Your frustration is a signal that you know things can be better. Say thank you to yourself, then, for having an ability that not everyone else has. That can be the first step in bleeding off some of that frustration.
You already know how good it feels when you hear ‘thank you’ from someone about your performance at work. It almost doesn’t matter how great or trivial your action was. Your attention shifts from your shortcomings to the positives. You start looking for other ways to demonstrate those positives. Saying thank you to that frustrating co-worker for any efforts at improvement is another way to reduce your own frustration while triggering improvement in that co-worker.
Let things play out. When you’re the one whose standards seem to be higher than others’, you can feel compelled to take over or cover for someone who you think isn’t stepping up to the plate. You can feel like you need to step in and save your co-worker from what you’re sure will be some disastrous consequences. Unless it’s a matter of health and safety, or something that will seriously damage your practice’s brand or a client relationship, it can be better to resist the desire to jump in. Sometimes, it’s better that people experience the feelings that come with making bad choices.
Take the long view. It’s odd, but true, that the lower performers in any BV practice can actually create more stress for the achievers than they do for themselves. It’s also true, however, that people who work in teams very quickly come to know who is doing the work and who isn’t. This dynamic is just as obvious to your boss as it is to you. You don’t have to try to “position” yourself, or go around talking about your strengths or someone else’s weaknesses. The reality of what goes on in your practice comes to the surface sooner or later.
There’s really only so much you can do – and in truth, that’s very little – to change a co-worker’s level of performance. Focusing on the frustration you may feel simply takes you further down a very dark tunnel.
If you can change the way you look at a co-worker, you might be surprised by how the co-worker you’re looking at changes.