We had a staff meeting a while back. The boss started out with a question and asked everyone to tell one thing they learned in kindergarten. Most said things like “play nice”, “share”, “follow the rules”, “raise your hand”. I said “Naps are good” and “don't throw your food”.
There was a bit of discontent where I work at the time, hence the kindergarten lesson. When you put a fairly large number of people in a relatively small space, there is bound to be an occasional bit of turbulence. Particularly when said large number of people happens to be, more specifically, female. Generally, we are a pretty happy family; rare conflicts are - more often than not - handled privately and between the offending parties; most of us are team players and those who are not put up with the rest of us; when someone needs a hug, a hand, or a hint, another is usually nearby with an ample supply. Actually, we're not like a family at all. We get along too well to be considered family.
Many of us have been there since our salon and spa opened, four and a half years ago; many more came within the next year, and a small handful are newbies; (a year or less). The fact that we all get along and actually like each other, along with the low turn over, is no small accomplishment.
It hasn't always been that way. In the beginning, when we were all new, we had some growing to do. We had to learn that this one wasn't mean - she was shy. That one wasn't arrogant – she was intimidated. The other one wasn't untalented – she was inexperienced. We became a team in spite of obstacles; Friends in spite of differences; Stronger as a group without sacrificing our individuality. It has been amazing to watch and experience.
Every now and then, a new hire comes along and fits right in. It feels like they've always been there and we can't remember what it was like before they came. Other times, it doesn't work out quite that way.
Which brings me to the situation requiring the kindykids reminder. Occasionally, a new hire comes in and doesn't immediately mesh. Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks or a couple of months. Heck one stylist took a couple of years. Usually, when that happens, the new hire leaves with a bad taste in her mouth for the staff and the company. We have been accused of eating new hires for lunch but I vehemently deny this. They are much too bitter. It always bothers me a bit when someone leaves though. I go over it again and again wondering if I did enough. What could I have done to make it easier for that person. How did I contribute to their dissatisfaction. I typically reach the same conclusion: more often that not, it is an act of omission rather than commission. Either by not recognizing early enough that they needed help or encouragement or not speaking up when someone else was being unduly ungenerous. (That's the bit that causes me the most regret.) I would not want to be a newbie coming into our space. It's like working at a family owned business and being the ONLY employee not a member of the family.
Anyway, I have been mulling over a particular situation at work. I appreciate these types of reminders. As one capable of learning from others' behavior, it is conflict that gives us the opportunity to apprize our own behavior and choices.
In keeping with my need for justification, adjudication and reconciliation, all preferably without personal involvement, I have made the following observations:
It takes two.
I choose to be happy.
I am solely responsible for my own success.
I choose the way I respond to people and situations.
Situations are neither positive or negative. The positive/negative in any situation is found in my reaction.
Objectivity is always easier from a distance.
I must not allow another person's uninformed opinion influence mine.
I do not possess THE answer. I only possess MY answer.
Successful people do the things unsuccessful people don't want to do. (eric fisher)
I can choose to be part of the problem or I can choose to be part of the solution.
The way I treat other people defines my character to others. The way I behave when no one is looking exposes my character to myself.
Whenever I forget any of the above principles, I can pretty much sum it up with these two:
Naps are good.
Don't throw your food.