I admit it. I snap at coworkers. And sometimes customers. Maybe once a week. Not a lot. Only when I’ve just about had it with my workload, or someone pushes my buttons.
I don’t mean anything by it. I always say I’m sorry.
Besides, after a while those I work with learn how to take me.
Unfortunately, we have a new clerk in the office. She arrives at work all bubbly and wants to talk first thing in the morning. I’m not a morning person and don’t like to interact with others until I’ve had at least three cups of coffee.
This morning she offered me banana bread as soon as I walked in the door. I said, “I don’t want to be bothered.” That’s all I said.
I didn’t see or hear it, but she then apparently cried off and on all morning. When our manager stopped by and asked her what was up, the clerk unloaded about how I’ve treated her. She
The manager called me on the carpet. I listened to the complaint and learned the clerk described my voice as harsh and horrid.
I asked why the clerk, if she was so upset, hadn’t come to me. I pointed out that I take full responsibility for my behavior and always say I’m sorry, but this clerk, like a squirrel storing nuts, stored up all the times I snapped and didn’t mention that that I always apologize afterwards.
I left this meeting irritated. Now don’t know to interact with this clerk, other than to avoid her.
You don’t take full responsibility. Full responsibility means that you don’t repeat a problem behavior again and again. When you repeat problem behavior, apologies ring hollow.
Further, you lay the problem at the feet of others. You critiqued the clerk for not coming to you. You expect others to learn how to “take” you.
Yes, this clerk could have done things differently. You don’t, however, have control over her behavior, only over your own. Now you plan to avoid a co-worker whose major mistake was offering you banana bread?
What can you do instead?
You can realize this problem starts and stops with you.
Others won’t need to learn how to take your snapping turtle routine if you end it.
Finally, you might drink those three cups of coffee before you head to work, and read Monday’s post on the right way to apologize, https://workplacecoachblog.com/2021/02/the-right-way-to-apologize/
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