March 10, 2017

It Still Takes a Village

It’s interesting how humans act and react to each other and situations.  We can be so fickle.  We can get our feeling hurt over seemingly little things.  One minute we can be friends with someone, and the next we can be angry at something said to us or about us.

In my line of work, the Type-A personality is most common; and it’s needed.  I deal with bad people and have to be an authority figure, strong and decisive, almost all the time.  There are opportunities that present themselves to show empathy for a situation my “customers” get themselves into.  (Just the other night, for example, one of them came and explained the death of his son to me.  With tears in his eyes, this guy told me about how he felt responsible for a car accident that injured and ultimately took the life of his 13 year old boy.)  But most of the time, I have to direct and order these “customers” to do particular things to keep the facility running smoothly and on schedule.

And the rest of the people I work with have to lead in the same way, causing the potential for more conflicts among ourselves.  All these strong willed, opinionated, Type-A people, working in close quarters for 12+ hours at a time, will and does cause drama.  One minute everyone is getting along, and in seconds all hell can break loose.  One person may perceive another is not working or is not doing a particular task well.  Other times, someone thinks something is being done completely wrong or in an inefficient way.  Or someone says something about one person that is then spread to others, and then feelings are hurt and defense mechanisms come up.

Now, being in my forties and having managed upwards of 75 employees, I can take a step back and use the conflicts as learning experiences.  I also try and point coworkers to the same mindset.  Don’t get me wrong, I can be overly sensitive and worried about what another person says about me or to me.  But, I don’t want to be that way.  I want to feel secure in who I am and what I do, and to be able to learn from people and situations that typically make me insecure.

It’s about making the best of a situation.  Whether it’s a bad situation to learn from or a misunderstanding to straighten out, it’s important for all involved to stay sane and to take the opportunity to grow and learn and change when needed.  If we get to full of ourselves, we lose.  If we get too judgmental of others, we lose.  If we aren’t honest with others and ourselves, we lose.  It’s important to remember, we are all imperfect creatures.  We all have something to learn from each other.  Just because we are no longer children, it doesn’t mean it no longer "takes a village."

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