Office Etiquette Rule Number 11: Inspire Don't Perspire

Etiquette Rule Number 11: Inspire Don't Perspire

Okay, the truth is I was inspired by the commercial for deodorant that was aired on TV for a while: "Never let them see you sweat."

Work hard for sure. Being inspired means to me that work isn't really work. So when it comes to working hard, people don't understand that I love my work. I see work as part of me. I love what I do and I am passionate about it. Now in truth, I have to be a little careful about that passion, because I can see myself in the work, that is, I take what I do personally, where others don't see me in the work I do. Also, others don't see themselves in their work. Work is work to them. I think that's misfortunate for them. What a waste of eight hours a day. But to each their work is not a passion for them, hopefully for them, there is something else. And rooting for a football team may be fun, but it is not the person. There is no correlation between how loud you yell at the TV and how well the quarterback throws the football. I'm sure I have people going "Huh?"

Be inspirational in all you say and do. If you have to sound like a walking encyclopedia of Knute Rockne quotes so be it. Better to be positive than negative. Best to be competent and positive. Worse is positive and incompetent--sort of like an inspired idiot. You don't want that. And of course, you won't last long if you are negative and an idiot.

If you have to--choose to inspire others rather than make them perspire. People want to be inspired as opposed to being made to perspire.

I can remember a great boss--an inspiring boss--who was getting a lot of pressure from his boss who was not really a nice person. My boss had just finished a call with his uninspiring boss who was applying pressure about a certain contract. My boss's boss was using the perspiring method. He was applying perspiration rather than inspiration.

My boss picked up the perspiration method and began applying it to me. He began pounding on his desk, saying this to me about the client and the unwillingness of them to sign: "We need to get that contract done. We need them to act with a sense of urgency. But we must not let them see we are in a panic."

I knew this wasn't my boss talking. He was possessed by his boss's perspiration approach. I backed out of his office and still remember to this day, coming back in later, telling him what he said and that he was pounding his desk. He couldn't believe it--probably still doesn't.  But when I told him we both laughed. I later went to see the client and got the contract--but not that day--I didn't push them to sign or finalize the contract. That would have been using a perspiring method.

When I got the contract my boss bought an airline ticket for me to carry the contract and hand deliver it to his boss.  My boss wanted me to say a few choice things to his boss and I was prepared to do so, but that was't necessary. My boss's boss was relieved I was there (with the contract) and was as nice as he could be. I then saw his phone light up like a Christmas tree and his assistant walked in. She said, to my boss's boss that his boss (that's my boss's, boss, boss) was screaming "Where is that contract, I saw Murphy walk in here and he had better have that contract."

When I was face to face with my boss's boss and I heard how his boss was screaming, I mentally made a note--there is a lot of pressure in being perspirational, and I vowed to never apply perspiration tactics if I could help it.

No comments:


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner