Engaging with Your Colleagues
Part 1: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
We’ve all had great experiences in working with colleagues.
We’ve all had negative experiences in working with colleagues.
I’ve worked with some of the best and the worst people in the world. I’ve traveled to and done business in 45 countries.
In the weeks ahead, I’ll share about these 30 years of working with different people around the world.
Here’s a sampling of what’s to come:
The Friendly Ukrainian – I met him a few years after
the fall of the Soviet Union. We learned about each other’s countries and cultures. I worked alongside him for 4 years. He had my back – no matter what. He always found the positive in what I was doing and encouraged me….even when I knew screwed up.
The ‘Sky is Falling’ Guy – He started with the company the same time I did. It didn’t matter what I said or did – he was always negative, he was always critical, the sky was falling according to him. The management was screwed up. The company was screwed up. His ex-wives were all screwed up. And we heard about it all the time. Hanging around him sucked the life out of me – it felt like a cancer.
The Not So Grumpy Middle Eastern Man – When I saw his picture on the company website before I joined the compamny, I thought sure he was grumpy
and hard to get alone with. Somehow, I thought he wouldn’t like me. I couldn’t have been more wrong about him – he was one of the warmest, kindest, most engaging people I’ve ever worked with. He was always 100% supportive of me and other colleagues as we worked alongside each other in a very challenging, yet very rewarding environment. We served customers in the animal health industry all around the world together.
The Suspicious Brit – I was in England on an internship while in college. He thought I was a snob because I read a regular newspaper instead of a tabloid. He made fun of the way I talked. He was quite suspicious of me….he didn’t understand why I’d want to leave the US to work in England for a while. Some of his suspicion faded by the end of the summer. He decided that ‘I wasn’t such a bad lad after all’ after working alongside him for 3 months. He told me ‘I thought Americans were all like Mel Gibson. You’re not like Mel Gibson!’ (I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Mel Gibson was Australian :).
I’ll not only share details about these folks but also ideas about how you can engage with your colleagues better day in and day out on the job.
I learned from all these people – both good and bad. You can learn from your colleagues as well….as long as You keep an open mind.