I’ve tried being a different person at work. I’ve tried sensibly serious and I’ve tried super sweet and accommodating. I’ve tried strong and opinionated and I’ve tried interested and interesting. But none of these personae made me really love my working day. Because, it turns out I’m all these things and more, not one or the other.
As a wife I’m interested, as a daughter I’m sweet. And it’s the sum of our parts which makes us up. So why do we feel the pressure in our working life to present an image which we feel is expected of us?
I’m pretty sure that what I’ve learned as a mum (patience and the acceptance that I can’t control all things all the time) and as a friend (listening with my ears and my eyes) help make me good at work. And I believe the same of all those I come across as I go about my working day.
The laps at the local pool on Saturday and the over portioned meal we shared with mates on Thursday night are all part of those experiences that help make us up.
And I want to hear about those experiences, good and not so good, from my workmates each day, because that’s when you really see passion. It’s when you get a glimpse of what makes people tick. What gets them smiling from ear to ear, talking with their hands, laughing loudly, sometimes blinking away tears – but this is who we are and what makes us good in the workplace.
Tapping into our whole self at work, not just the parts that we’d present on a resume, brings diversity of opinion and a range of perspectives, which ultimately brings about better decision making, and most importantly a sense of fun to our day.
So tomorrow when you put on your work uniform, whatever it may be, and head off to do those things you’ve always done because you’re paid to do them, take your whole self to work too.