Need to change your behaviour?

Need to change your behaviour?
Highlights

While interacting at work place one should be more conscious and self regulated. Do not wait till someone...

While interacting at work place one should be more conscious and self regulated. Do not wait till someone tells you to change your behaviour need1Recently, I was entering a corporate office of an MNC. After clearing the security process, I was walking towards the lift. When I was about ten feet away, the lift door started closing and I hurriedly waved to the only person inside the lift requesting him to stop the lift for a few seconds. He had an indifferent look on his face and lift door got closed. To be honest, I got irritated. I waited for some time, took the lift and reached the office floor. As I was walking in the corridor, I saw the guy who was indifferent in the lift. He did recognise me and had a big gleeful look that was even more irritating! On another occasion, I was waiting at the reception to meet a mid level manager. After five minutes, he came to receive me and on seeing me, almost hugged me as a mark of warm welcome. I was surely touched by his warmth, but not with the strong smell of pan masala emanating from his mouth. Yet another incident was shared by my one of the persons who returned to India after working in the United States for over a decade. His problem was the loudness at workplace. He handles customer calls and his difficulty was to listen attentively to customer complaint while his colleagues around him speak loudly. Such talk could be work related or even personal matters. He had difficulty telling them to keep quiet. He asked me for my suggestion on how to tell them. Even before I answered his question, another question cropped up in my mind: "Should they be told about such things? Can't they understand? Is it not common sense?" Well, on several occasions it appears that these basics cannot be assumed to be given. Some people need to be told or reminded. No wonder companies spend several lakhs of rupees to train the freshers on basic etiquettes. Despite such trainings, I wonder, why there are many mid level and senior level managers who still lack such etiquettes.
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Once, a COO shared with me rather an embarrassing situation which he faced when he travelled abroad with his senior research director. He went to a customer meeting with the senior director and they were offered coffee with sugar cubes and a stirrer. The senior director mixed the sugar cubes in coffee and after stirring it; he started using the stirrer as a straw and had coffee. He was not conscious of making awkward noise while drawing coffee from the cup using the stirrer. The COO felt very uncomfortable with the customer in the scene.
Why do people A
behave that way? He shared his awful experience and asked me why seniors also do not demonstrate basic common sense even after so many trainings. As I reflect on the same, I thought of the following reasons why people need to be told about common sense. - Lack of Self awareness: They may not be aware of their own behaviour and its impact on others - Lack of Knowledge: They may be aware of their behaviour but do not know what is the right behaviour to demonstrate - Lack of Effort: They may not be able to put in required effort and struggle to change their habits
What can one do?
To improve self awareness, it is best to seek feedback on your behaviour during office interactions. However, it is true that people may hesitate to share with you what they think is too basic. For example, who will tell you about your behaviour of shutting the door on the face of a person who was walking behind? Therefore, besides seeking feedback from close associates, it is essential to be more conscious of how you carry yourself. You don't have to be told about some basic office behaviour. If you lack knowledge, surely training will help. However, the bigger challenge is to change your habits after knowing what is right. For example, some make funny sounds while chewing food; they are told about it; but still they struggle to change their habits. Finally, do not wait till someone tells you to attend to the basics; be more conscious and self regulated!
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