Relationships within the workplace are a tricky things – part friend, part competitor, part stranger, part teammate. Independent vs co-dependent. Owner, boss, supervisor, employee. In any given day, these roles can shift from one to the next, back and forth. The trick to navigating these relationships is figuring out who you are at the time you are interacting with your co-workers.
What is your goal today; What are your needs, how do you plan to achieve them? Are you working for yourself or your team? When you know the space of the game-board on which you are standing you will have a much better idea of the person you are projecting to your co-workers. You show-up as a competitor you will be met by competitors. Show-up as a teammate, you will be met with a team.
It isn’t fair to expect your co-workers to know who you are at every moment. If you have not already taken stock and realized who you are showing them at every moment. If you were a friend this morning, but a competitor in the afternoon, you will inevitably spark confusion and perhaps conflict. Recognize you play different roles and be aware of who you are projecting, then be prepared to manage the reaction when your role is met with push-back, bewilderment or resistance – that reaction might simply be because you are unfamiliar to your co-worker. Keep in mind all those folks in your workplace are going through the same struggle – multiple times everyday.
Who you are sitting next to depends upon who you are. How the world reacts to us depends upon how we welcome the world.