In Winning at Work, we’ve covered a lot of topics on dealing with challenging or difficult people – customers, employees, co-workers, bosses, etc. Every now and then, however, it’s a worthwhile exercise to step back and take a look at ourselves to make sure that we aren’t falling into one of those categories.
The first place we need to look is in the area of integrity, and it doesn’t hurt to do the occasional introspective integrity check. The fundamental meaning of integrity is ‘wholeness,’ or ‘completeness.’ In essence, as it relates to our character, it means that all of your thoughts and actions are consistent with the kind of person you think you are, tell people you are, or would like to be.
Lack Of Self-Awareness Is Everywhere
I get a lot of emails about difficult customers, employees, coworkers, bosses and callers (thanks – keep them coming!). A great many of them have to do with people who think they’re doing a great job, but really aren’t – the employee who talks a great game, but doesn’t get the work done; the boss who claims to empower his (her) staff, but micro-manages; the coworker who purports to be a team player, but is nowhere to be found when the going gets tough; the customer who wants to be treated with respect, but is constantly rude.
The thing is, most of these people don’t actually realize what they’re doing. And because few people actually challenge them on their lack of integrity, they continue their behavior content in the belief that they are doing the right things. What makes it a little scary is that, well, those people might be us.
Do This Quick Integrity Check
Want to make sure that you aren’t the customer/boss/employee/ coworker/caller from hell? Review this simple checklist:
1. I do the things I say I’m going to do
2. I don’t say anything behind someone’s back that I wouldn’t say to their face
3. I don’t tell lies or ‘stretch the truth’
4. I make the needs of the people around me a priority
5. I treat everyone with respect
If you can honestly say ‘yes,’ to all of these, then you’re on the right track. If there’s a question mark beside one or two of them, you may want to take a closer look at your actions, and how others may be perceiving you.