The ‘I am always right’ attitude may not work

i am rightWalking through the corporate corridors is a heady feeling, especially when you are fresh out of confines of college. But with this new found freedom comes the responsibility of team play. For the first few days it would suit you best to observe and ingest the overall work ambience. Most often in our eagerness to please, we tend to lose sight of our own individuality. Primarily because we do not want to stick out like sore thumbs and want to blend in as quickly as possible. Let us not forget that you were not hired because you were similar but because you were different.

This difference needs to be on display in the quality of work that you do as well as in the relationships that you build. Our orientation could perhaps be to always score a point, but then when you are dealing with team members who have more years in the business within your organisation, this may not apply. On the ground, reality could be very different from the academic knowledge that most freshers come armed with. What would work well is to state your point of view as tactfully as possible. Always bear in mind tact and grace go a long way than brashness.

There will come moments that you may have to unlearn quite a bit of what you may have learnt at college. This should not put you in a quandary nor should you become disillusioned. What you learn in the form of theory could many a time be a broad perspective, but the day to day operational realities can change in tandem with the world around you. The more pliant you are, without losing your individuality, the further your career will go. Sticking to one’s guns and wearing the “I am always right “badge can often set up roadblocks for you. There is no right or wrong way on the office floor but the best way, and this comes about only with collaborative thinking.

There are several ways in which you too can move into a participative and receptive mode as well. Do your groundwork on the subject well enough so that your point of view is validated when you begin to discuss it. Remember to be in charge of your tone of voice – either when speaking or writing a mail – and let it be clearly known that it is a point of view.  Should disagreements crop up while discussing and especially if it is with a senior group of people, then make a mental note to discuss your point of view in a one to one discussion with the person.

It would make a significant difference to your career if you wear your always learning hat on. Being humble is in no manner a weakness and it can become your strength especially when you move up the ranks.

 

- Gita Nair (views expressed in the article are that of the author)

 

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