Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

22 Replies

Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Lindsay Pietenpol on Apr 4, 2019 8:33 am

People often wonder how they should act at work—should they be themselves, or should they be more professional and conform to the organization’s culture? A recent Forbes article found that more and more organizations are encouraging employees to be themselves to increase diversity and inclusion. What are your experiences with “being yourself” vs. buttoning up for the office? What type of work environment do you think makes for the most effective—or productive—workplace?

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Amanda Foster on Apr 5, 2019 6:22 am

I definitely took on a more detached and "buttoned-up" approach when I became Quality Manager for the company I already had 10+ years of history with. It fits better with the cultural expectations at my company as well. Honestly, I have been much more content with this detachment overall. I have one close friend at work, and otherwise I keep my personal life far from the office. It's a lot more peaceful than trying to juggle work friendships and authority.

I'm a fairly reserved person, so maybe this really is me being myself at work anyway, ha ha.
Amanda Foster, ASQ CQA

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Deborah Coviello on Apr 5, 2019 9:49 am

Great conversation and thank you.

I too was reserved and keeping the two worlds separated.

However, qualities of a leader have been changing and transparency, likability, being yourself have become more attractive in recent times.

You be the judge if you can experiment with this in the current culture.

I have found as a leader of others, taking some time to be personal before being transactional is a great ice-breaker and keeps things in perspective: We're all part of humanity and take it or leave it -we are parents, partners, friends, someone's child and we have all these common touch points with other people. 

Let's make sure we do connect with our colleagues on a personal level.

Be well-Deb
Deborah A. Coviello

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Lisa Brummal on Apr 5, 2019 1:01 pm

I try to be myself at work and appreciate getting to know my colleagues on a personal level as this does foster a better team dynamic and more effective working relationships.  

However, I do feel that there is a note of caution about this. Being oneself at work should not mean going beyond professionally accepted behavior and proper decorum within the office.

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Alexander Kholodov on Apr 9, 2019 1:29 am

I am strong believer that being authentic at different environments (i.e. work, family, friends, etc.) would not, in most cases, contradict to being seen as reserved and keeper-of-personal-life-far-from-the-office, yet, as put nicely by Amanda, maybe this is just me being myself at work anyway 😉

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Amanda Foster on Apr 9, 2019 12:30 pm

Alexander Kholodov‍, Introverts of the world unite (in our own separate spaces of course)!
Amanda Foster, ASQ CQA

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Alexander Kholodov on Apr 10, 2019 7:39 am

Amanda Foster, could not agree more, as one of the assertive INFJs, per Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers%E2%80%93Briggs_Type_Indicator)☺

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Amanda Foster on Apr 10, 2019 7:49 am

Alexander Kholodov‍, I was pretty sure I was right about that :-) 

I love MBTI, it makes so much sense to me! I am a unicorn, especially as a woman INTJ "The Mastermind" or "The Architect."  Less than 2% of the population and less than .8% of women are INTJs. It's a personality type that is particularly well suited to quality work, so that's nice for me.
 
Amanda Foster, ASQ CQA

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Trish Borzon on Apr 15, 2019 1:51 pm

I've never taken the Myers-Briggs assessment, but am pretty sure it would have an "E" somewhere in the line-up.  While at work one may be a little more reserved, I feel it's important to be who you are at all times. I personally can't be too buttoned up at the office, I tend to see the humor in things too often, or have a song to sing for that.   I wouldn't last a day in a stuffy atmosphere. 

I think there has to be a balance, you must be aware of how the people around you like to work.  A leader will be able to adapt their style to best meet the needs of staff.  It's not about you, but what your staff needs to achieve your joint goals.   

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Amanda Foster on Apr 15, 2019 2:27 pm

Trish Borzon‍, you should take the assessment, it's fascinating! My husband is a very strong extrovert, it makes life fun!

I think there has to be a balance, you must be aware of how the people around you like to work.  A leader will be able to adapt their style to best meet the needs of staff.  It's not about you, but what your staff needs to achieve your joint goals.

Yes, it think you are right on with this.
Amanda Foster, ASQ CQA

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Trish Borzon on Apr 15, 2019 3:14 pm

We recently went through the DISC (Dominant, Inspiring, Supportive, Cautious) assessment, which I found fascinating!  I'm a  SI - was fun to see what your co-workers were and best approaches to work with them.  I truly love that kind of stuff 

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Amanda Foster on Apr 16, 2019 6:28 am

Trish Borzon‍, my husband and I did that one as part of a volunteer organization leadership summit. It was fascinating. Oddly, I was almost completely D! It was actually frightening!  It made sense with the definitions, but I think I need to become a little more well rounded...
Amanda Foster, ASQ CQA

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Trish Borzon on Apr 16, 2019 8:34 am

Haha - my D was pretty high too.  But SI were way at the top :)   Making decisions isn't a bad thing!  Everyone needs that

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Cynthia Nazario on Apr 17, 2019 10:19 am

Amanda Foster‍ I'm an INTJ, too!
Product Owner

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Amanda Foster on Apr 17, 2019 12:17 pm

Cynthia Nazario‍ that's awesome! We are unique.
Amanda Foster, ASQ CQA

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Jim Kefaloukos on Apr 22, 2019 3:25 am

Fantastic Topic - Thanks for raising this issue.
I would suggest - as with many things - we should never lose sight of the (our) objectives.
Being our own persons helps develop relations and understanding with colleagues.
However we should take care that the message isn't lost due to the (possibly extreme) delivery method.
A recent article by Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy declared that any first meeting has others judging us on 2 criteria:
1/ Are we trustworthy
2/ Can we be respected.
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/harvard-psychologist-amy-cuddy-how-people-judge-you-2016-1?r=US&IR=T

So....be ourselves, do what is needed to get the intended outcomes, and as the great Ron Burgundy says...."You Stay Classy".
60% of the time it works every time.
 

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Lorri Williams on Apr 25, 2019 12:58 pm

It's important to be authentic, at the same time, it is equally important to recognize and conform to the basic norms and culture of your business.  Not every role you have or every company you work for will allow you to "be yourself", however, you should never compromise your beliefs or integrity for any company or job.  If the role or company you work for doesn't fit your authentic self, and you don't have the versatility to adapt, then you really only have one option...find a company that does allow you to be yourself.  
Lorri Williams Section 625, Northern Nevada

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Leigh Parrott on Apr 25, 2019 1:18 pm

I, too, am a female INTJ ‍ Amanda Foster‍ . :)  I started my career keeping work/life VERY separate. As the years progressed, I realized as other's have mentioned that bringing more of your 'personality' yet remaining professional actually attracts more people to you in my experience. 
 

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Amanda Foster on Apr 25, 2019 2:51 pm

Yes, Lorri Williams‍, I agree. You spend so much time at work, there's no point in being miserable because you are poorly matched!
Amanda Foster, ASQ CQA

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Amanda Foster on Apr 25, 2019 2:52 pm

Leigh Parrott‍, so you understand. Honestly, most of my interpersonal interactions would benefit from more 'personality' demonstration from me, but it's so uncomfortable! I prefer to be private and observe!
Amanda Foster, ASQ CQA

Re: Reaction Gauge: Being Yourself at Work

Posted by Aimee Siegler on Apr 26, 2019 1:02 pm

I'm used to just being myself... somewhat of a geek with a creative streak. I'm going to assume that this is what led me to a career in quality. I constantly have to learn new things to be effective at my job, which makes my geeky side happy, and I'm helping redesign some of our systems right now that requires my creative side. If I couldn't be me I wouldn't be here.