Home > Career, Choices, Relationships > Bringing our best selves

Bringing our best selves

Most of us work with other people, and any group of people inevitably encounters conflicts.  The way the group members treat each other ultimately determines how enjoyable (or not) their work environment is.  We all hold the power to make the lives of the people we work with more enjoyable – or miserable.  Therefore we owe it to each other to bring our best selves to work each day.

What does it mean to bring your best self?  It means letting go of the people and events that put you in a bad mood at home and deciding to say good morning anyway when you walk into work.  It means treating other people with respect and patience, even if they sometimes annoy you.  It means remembering that conflict is inevitable, but rarely personal.  Let go of small slights and stay focused on the group’s larger goals.  Bringing your best self also means coming to work ready to do your job, doing that job as well as you can, and taking special care to excel in the parts of your job that affect other people.

Bringing your best self to work may sound selfless, but it’s not – there is a significant selfish component.  The people I’ve met who work in this way are happier, earn greater respect in their office and their field, and have an easier time getting projects done because people want to work with them.  They develop reputations as being easy to work with and valuable to their employers.  For people used to showing every up and down, feeling every slight, or expressing each frustration, this way of approaching work won’t come easily, but isn’t increasing your own and your co-workers’ happiness a goal worth working towards?

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  1. Lauren
    April 21, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Can you please write a post about the value of patience and how to wait? This is turning into an advice column for me. :-)

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