We Not Me

There was a tap on my shoulder.

As I was riding the No. 7 bus at the moment it was a little unusual but it does happen. People ask about bus stops, drop things under your seat, etc., so I turned around.

The fellow behind me was saying something but I couldn't hear him because the music from my iPod was too loud. I pulled a bud out of my ear.

“He says your music's too loud” my seat mate said, pointing at the driver.

Not understanding for a second I looked at him, turned and looked at the driver who was tapping his ear with his finger and turned back again. “Your music's too loud.”

Embarrassed of course I turned the iPod off and put a forced smile on my face nodding at those around me as I finished my trip.

So Into Me

Now playing your music too loud isn't a cardinal sin, but its rude. It says, I don't care about anyone else. And even if its a mistake it belies a certain sense of ego, i.e., my needs are paramount.

So I began thinking about little things I see on a daily basis that strike me as people too into themselves (yes including me). You might be a little too preoccupied with me not we if you:

  • Feel compelled to comment on every item in a team meeting agenda. Really?
  • “Reply All” to emails when a simple “Reply” would have worked
  • Let voicemails back up because you're “too busy”
  • Make a beeline for your boss – or her's – at the next office party and talk to no one else
  • Ask coworkers for time and advice on career and choices and concerns, yet never listen to them
  • Go home and replay your day play for play ad nauseam to your partner – uninvited to do so
  • Miss your family time at night and weekends because you're out networking
  • Never ask your boss “how can I help you?” focusing only on your needs

Its true no one cares about our careers as much as we do, but where is the balance? How do we ensure that our thoughts and actions support the team as well as ourselves?

Work environments are communities: some highly collaborative, some toxic and most somewhere in between. One thing I've observed in highly functioning teams is a sense of we. A sense of collectivism: people thinking about the group's needs.

People care about and look out for each other

Its healthy to like and look out for yourself. Its an adult way to be.

Thinking of the needs for all the groups we're part of is healthy too though. Find that place in between the two extremes for a more effective, productive and happier you.

Its We not Me



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