CONNECT “Smooth 98.1”
Welcome to Smooth-Life with OLAKUNLE SORIYAN. I have been sharing some key thoughts aboutrelationships, pressure and work in the workplace. See, Pressure in the workplace is only as strong as what we allow. One of the greatest secrets we can ever learn in and outside the workplace is the truth that we have the responsibility to enforce control over our physical, mental and emotional faculties. Great deals of employees today find it difficult to enjoy every day life because they have placed themselves under tremendous pressure. Meanwhile, nobody can put you under pressure without your consent. Pressure is a state of the mind; it is our perception of wrongly misinterpreted situations that result in what we label as pressure. Almost every problem in the workplace and anywhere can be traced to two things:
(1) How you handle yourself
(2) How you handle the people you allow into your life.
These two can be summed up in two words: Interpersonal relationships. Interpersonal conflicts between colleagues and between employees and bosses have continued to plague the workplace, leaving a lot of people unhappy and hurt. What increases the frustration is the fact that a lot of people can trace the reason for their challenges in the workplace to every other person but themselves. ‘The boss shouldn’t have shouted the way he did,’ ‘the secretary was so rude’, etc.
I want to focus on the depth of our sincerity. Most workers are not sincere in their dealings in the workplace and that alone accounts for over 80% of the problem in today’s work environments and even anywhere. Some employees find it difficult to own up to their mistakes. What happens most of the time is that after committing a blunder, rather than owning up to it, an employee would rather wish the boss forgets completely about it so they can avoid the due reprimand. Employees who sustain such an attitude continue to sustain a cycle, a cycle of mistakes – cover ups – being found out – reprimands – depression – mistakes – and the cycle goes on. So if we take a critical look at it, we’ll see that we are really the brewers of our own issues.
Now, Learning is about the most effective way you can acquire skill and experience in any endeavor. But, what if I tell you that life is designed in such a way that you learn very little from what you study personally, you learn more from what you are taught, and you learn the most from your experiences. Now, between what you are taught and your experiences, there must be room for a lot of corrections. So, if you hate corrections, trust me, you hate a great life without acknowledging that you do. For most of us however, we would rather avoid being corrected, most especially when the method does not soothe us. Personally, I really don’t have a problem with my players’ errors on the job. I however have loads of issues with repeated error on the same issue, particularly errors on ‘routine jobs’. It’s an act of will; and an act of will is an act of integrity. The truth is, we can very often do more by simply completing that which we have willed to do! A decision to act is made once and vacillation only breeds weakness of will. It is even worse when we try so hard to cover up our mistakes either out of the fear of being reprimanded or being labeled ineffective. What most workers fail to realize is the selfishness of their actions every time they attempt to keep their mistakes away from the knowledge of the boss, which only goes to prove that they are more concerned about themselves than the ultimate consequence their negligence could have on the organization. The only way we can ever truly have a fulfilling time on the job is when we are experiencing growth and accomplishment on the job. But growth and accomplishment is only an end, the means to that end is a willingness to learn which is expressed by a willingness to receive corrections regardless of the way in which it is given. If you hate corrections, then be perfect. I have taken responsibility for my frailty as a human being. This then means that my errors don’t shock me; because to express shock will underscore the fact that I have underrated my frailty and overrated my ability.
When I was working as an employee, one of my philosophies is to only appraise my work process by the value my boss places on it, how excellent I think it is notwithstanding. I always refuse the self-pity-temptation to have my boss understand me; rather I deliberately strive to understand my boss more and more. When I go wrong therefore, by my boss’s standard, and I’m reprimanded, I just focus on the lessons as defined by my boss and totally shut my system to the method or approach of the reprimand. It’s called a healthy PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). This is the thinking of champions all over the World. The deeper point is the fact that even when you own up to your mistakes it doesn’t end there. Conscious efforts must be taken to ensure that we do not keep repeating our mistakes and taking consolation in the fact that all we have to do is to own up and apologize. The truth is that apologies have a life span. They are not enough if they will not translate into measurable improvement and results. I advice us all to embrace corrections with all our hearts. Don’t shy away from them, and be willing to report your mistakes even before being found out. These are signs of improvements. Your boss will appreciate them because they prove that you indeed have the best interest of the organization at heart.
Every boss and every organization loves a sincere and productive worker. And even if they don’t value it, life will! And life will reward you very soon. No wonder some people who are not obviously the most skilful or experienced somehow find their way to the top of the corporate ladder. The secret is that they have consciously submitted themselves to tutorship, admitting their inadequacies and expressing their willingness to learn and improve on the job.