SHOW DATE: NOVEMBER 6, 2013
Chris Christie, a conservative in the very blue state of New Jersey, got re-elected last week with 60% of the vote.
Fascinating, considering the majority of New Jerseyans don’t see eye to eye on many of his basic issues. He doesn’t, for example, want to raise the minimum wage, and he doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage. So how did Christie get such a large slice of voters on his side?
It’s simple. Christie knows exactly who he is. There’s no bullshit demarcating him: he’s the same guy on the job, in the public eye, as he is at home. He takes his strengths and weaknesses and leverages them. What can we take away from this?
You are the same person on the job as you are at home. Whatever you do at home—the good, the bad and the ugly—you play out in the office.
The problem is you think you act differently on the job. There is some imaginary “professional mask” you wear at work that you think you take off at home.
Those mannerisms that drive your partner or friend crazy, you’re bringing that into the workplace whether you know it or not.
Let’s say you and your partner sit down and watch an hour of TV, and it takes two hours to get through a one hour show because you keep getting up to do stuff like get a snack, check your phone or computer, or brush your teeth, so you’re constantly pausing the DVR. Your thoughts are scattered and distracted. This is exactly what you take to work, and although you’re more limited in how you sidestep your tasks, you still do it on the job without even realizing it.
The first step to mitigating the problem is becoming aware of the causal factors.
How exactly do you parse out your Achilles heel(s)? Assess yourself. Ask yourself, what are a few things that drive my partner/roommate/friend crazy? What’s that complaint they always have about me? This is what you’re likely taking with you to the job. Better yet, ask them what they think your quirks are.
For example, it’s your turn to take out the trash, walk the dog or clean the dishes, and your response is always the same: “I’ll do it in a minute.” Guess what? At work, you’re likely putting everything off till the last minute, until your tasks accumulate to a point where disaster is imminent.
Here’s how to systematically assess your problems, hone in on them and shoot them down before they manifest into something job-threatening:
1) Grab hold of someone who sees you on daily basis, or has known you for years, and get them to spill the beans on what annoys them the most. They might enjoy it.
2) Take a breath—don’t be stubborn and fold your arms at their response; think about how this may affect your performance at work.
3) Lose the attitude and start observing yourself on the job—catch your quirks before you have a chance act them out.
You don’t always want to hear the truth about yourself. But this is what will get you ahead in your career. Listen to what people are saying. Lose the grand delusion of separate home and work personas. These only serve to distract you from the small, quickly dismissed foibles that affect your job performance. Once you’re honest with yourself, once you drop the bullshit, you’re going to be more liked, more respected and more likely to get promoted.