This isn't a normal post. This one is directed to newer people, those who feel pushed around a bit at work, or those in general that do not fell that they are being heard or trusted as much as they should. OK, these are all personal opinions, take that at face value. This has worked for me over time.
I'm a bit of an introvert per say. I don't handle parties or lots of people well unless they're well known. This blog and the attempt to start speaking is partially to break some of that. The things I've learned over time...
1) Don't cross your arms, fiddle with things, put your hands in your pocket, or lean in behind a podium.
This one seems more simple, but watch yourself. day to day, how you interact... the more you tighten up, the less you seem sure of yourself. Before speaking in front of people or just to start your day. Stretch out, lean back, spread out, and move around a little. The more open you feel, the more natural you will come off.
2) Avoid weak words such as: Might, Should, Could, Maybe, Supposed To, I Think, ect.
If you've tested that piece of code, made that souffle 1000 times before, rebuilt 100 engines... why would you start off with, "This code change Might fix our problem." You know it fixes the problem. You should be proud you're providing something useful. If they accept it quicker, you can move on to something else quicker as well. Removing weak words helps remove doubt. This isn't to say that if you're not sure, declare that it'll work from the mountain tops... but still watch your speech. a small change over time will help with confidence and control.
3) Don't look away.
It's hard to judge what a person is thinking or saying when they're staring at the water cooler or the floor. If you can create that connection, do so. Looking someone in the eye can instill confidence and help move a conversation from someone just stopping by with more work to someone actually talking to you.
A smile even on a bad day, makes the day better. This isn't an absolute... but the more you smile, the happier you are. The happier you are, the easier the people around you are to deal with. If you smile at the people you work with on a daily basis, you'll seem more approachable. That's where we get into #5. (FYI, Sheldon's smile is better left as a blank face)
5) Get along.
OK, I know there's always been a split in IT. We have our SAN guys who always hide our disks or give us RAID 5's when we clearly asked for RAID 10's on the new SSDs... The Developers who keep asking for SA and trying to sneak code changes in without us looking... The SA's who decide to reboot your server and continually wonder why SQL is taking all that RAM?! I bet it's a memory leak... and our help desk who keeps patching people through while we're busy and didn't even open a ticket?... The DBA's (We can't be left out) who continue to lock everything down like a dragon sitting on a pile of gold asking for more resources and never letting anyone touch their precious.
Simply put, we're all human, we all have a job to do, and we're not here to make other peoples lives miserable. I understand that in some shops... that's how it's always been. It can change with a single person making the effort. Maybe the SA has found a problem..., Maybe the SAN admin has some spare disks you can talk him into. Maybe the developer found a major bug and is willing to help you isolate it a lot faster. I'm not saying give up control over your area... but working with your team mates will make life better and the quality of your business better as a whole. You might screw up one day and need that SA, DEV, or SAN admin to help you fix it.
6) Don't deal in absolutes
All this said... Nothing should be dealt with as an absolute (see what I did there?). If you're unsure, don't give it as a fact. If you are looking at someone, remember there's a point staring someone down is a bit creepy. Smiling is great, but faking it doesn't seem to help much.
This can go on and on rather easily. The simple note here is, be happier, speak up, get along with people and work together. These small changes can make a place to work become a home. If I am going to spend 1/3 of my life, over half of my awake life working somewhere? I'm going to make sure I actually like the place.
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