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Part of the Pack

For those of you who know me personally I am a huge dog lover. We have two boxers (the boys) and we are their pack. I also feel this way about my family, friends, and even many of my colleagues. They are my pack and I accept and would do almost anything for them. I know that not everyone wants me to be a part of their pack (what?!). And for the most part, I am okay with that. Especially in my personal life - we can choose who to surround ourselves with.

What happens when we cannot choose who to surround ourselves with? A great example of this is in our working lives. I feel fairly confident that many of us have been on a team project with a person that did not come close to making pack status. Working environments can be challenging. In your personal life you can avoid and exclude people. You may block a person from Facebook, Instagram, etc. or simply disassociate yourself from them. However, this tactic will not fly in the workplace. At work, you will have interactions and be placed on teams with individuals you would never willingly include in your pack. Stressors related to these situations can cause unfavorable behaviors to emerge. For example, avoidance, lack of patience, professionalism or even gossip.

These types of behaviors can affect culture, working relationships, and even productivity, depending on how offended you allow yourself to become. You may not be in control of the situation. However, you are in control of how you respond to your set of circumstances. The way that you respond to people can be the key to resolving the offense and or avoiding conflict. What purpose does it serve to speak poorly of someone just because they view or process things differently than you? This only serves to make others uncomfortable. Maybe the individual gave you some feedback and you got offended, remember you are in control of how you respond. Is it a possibility that they were coming from a place of positive intent and you were unwilling to listen to a different view point?

The point of the week’s post is to try to get us to think about personal accountability and how we respond to people who have different ideas, opinions or view us in a different light than we think we should be viewed.

Respond to others with kindness and understanding. Even if they are not a part of your pack they still deserve to be treated with respect and not made to feel like and outsider. You just might develop a new ally to take your organization and your career to new heights.

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