A while back I was in a meeting and I thought I might have overstepped a boundary. Not a cringe worthy “way too personal” kind of boundary but more of a “should I have interrupted and spoken my mind?” kind of boundary.
This happens a lot to me and I wasn’t sure if I had in fact over stepped a boundary or if I was over analyzing the situation. This is the catch-22 I can find myself in. It is good to be introspective; this prevents further blundering and crossing of boundaries. The downside is over analysis, analysis paralysis or scaring yourself into thinking that in your analysis you missed something else.
Can this be an exhausting state of mind? Yes but I’ve come to appreciate my self-analysis. Early in my career someone told me I could get much farther in life by reflecting on my actions. Most people just react and never analyze, therefore they never learn.
I think that was a great piece of advice and something I’ve found very valuable for those “how did I get here?” moments of life.
Luckily I have a long commute so this stuff gets worked out by the time I get home for dinner.
Anywhoo, this experience made me think…how do you know how to “behave” at work? How do you know when it is appropriate to speak up or keep your mouth shut?
What advice has transcended company, culture and teams?
All organizations have their own way of doing things and starting new jobs or even moving into new roles can force us to learn that company or teams new way of doing things. Sometimes these are great experiences; advice like the above has suited me well throughout my career. Other times though I was used to doing things a certain way and have had to “re-educate” myself or find someone who could help me.
What about you? What is some of the best and worst advice you’ve received about working? Tell me about it in the comments or hit me up in email. If your story takes more than a comment or an email, write up a blog post. I would love to share your advice and experience.