I am a child of God and that comes with expectations. From God Himself to the people around. And the expectations are not the simplest of things, mainly,because they go against your natural self, which is the flesh, which is very worldly. Hence the ever on-going fight between the flesh and the Spirit, because once you become born-again, the Spirit should become your guide, but yeah, the tag of war is real.
So the other day at work, I mentioned to a friend of mine that my attitude at work, needs to get saved. It was funny but very true. Well, in reality, it was just pride that had reared its head. I was handling a project and it was given to someone else with no explanation (p/s: it’s amazing how we often think our bosses owe us things like ‘explanations’ when they really don’t) and that wounded my ego. I forgot my C.V. has ‘team player’ in it. And so I started murmuring and said ‘I hope they don’t decide to involve me midway of the project !’ That’s the attitude for ‘It’s either my way, or the highway!’ And God did not waste time to point it out.
I hang my head in shame before God. Feeling,of entitlement. That scenario brought out a few things:
1. Humility is a virtue I am still in Kindergarten learning.
2. Pride manifests itself in so many ways and one of its trademark is the feeling of entitlement and the thought that your way is the only best way.
God, in His patience, took time to school me on what a team player is. It’s not just someone playing on the same team with you; it’s being a part of the team no matter what. It’s supporting the team’s efforts, whether those efforts are inspired by you or not. When you are a team player, you do not throw a tantrum when another team member’s idea is picked over yours. You swallow the bitter pill of your idea not being taken and move on, with the same energy as if it was your idea, to get the job done.
I know, how will you get the recognition if you don’t fight for your ideas to see the light of day? Well, murmuring and complaining won’t get you there either. If anything, people will not want to deal with you. It is much easier to get recognised as a team player because believe it or not, it is very hard for people to do this with grace in the workplace. We operate with, everyone for himself, God for us all.
You see though, once you are grafted into God’s family, your settings need to be reset. Your default settings need to become like Christ’s default settings, which I can say the first is love. And 1 Cor 13:4-8, covers all what love is about. And so, I confessed for the wrong attitude and asked God to help me be a team player, through and through and to humble me. To remind me I don’t know everything and just because my idea is not taken up, does not mean it was not a good idea. Someone else just had a better one for that time, and it is okay. There’s a lot of pie to go round for everyone.
I think what makes having the right attitude in the workplace almost impossible is the fact that we are all there for selfish reasons first, me and my needs and then the company needs come second. We more often than not treat each other suspiciously. And at times we don’t want to be used, because people end up knowing that if you go to Gladys, even if it’s last minute, she’ll fix whatever the problem is. Balancing when to say yes and no is an art in itself (one you must learn very fast and thoroughly if you are to live the abundant life Christ died for you to live). Dealing with egos and people who take up responsibilities only to drop them at the last minute. It’s a lot to juggle and fight with, for you to come out the other side, with the right attitude. But it’s possible.
Even as I write this, another situation happened and I was still like ‘ But so and so was put in charge of this project, why am I the one you are questioning now?’ Because of something goes wrong, it may come back to bite me, yet it was someone else’s responsibility. I feel this was God testing me to see if I understood the lesson the first time. Clear fail. So this means, another situation like this will be coming, till I get this right attitude thing going. Le sigh. But I am committed to the process.
Next I think I’ll write about how sabotaging your colleague is really just sabotaging yourself…
Time to get ready for work, and part of my outfit is right attitude, matched with humility.