Don’t Be A Smart Alec
Sometimes playing the fool at work has it’s benefits. No one really likes a Mr. or Miss Know-It-All. But besides the advice to stay humble, you would be surprised where this can get you.
A successful stand up comedian ALWAYS start from playing THE fool. When they started off as an amateur comedian, the butt-of-the-joke was they themselves. Creating laughter and gaining followers. Because everyone likes to laugh at the fool but no one wants to become one. In time “PEOPLE WILL PAY PREMIUM” to watch the “FOOLS”.
Now how does this help in your workplace? In a new work environment, don’t act the smarty-pants. For example during 1st week of briefing for all the-new-joiners, don’t try too hard in getting the right answers each and every time the trainer asks the group a question . . .
Allow others to share their thoughts and perspective. You might even learn something new.
Remember, you have joined the workforce, you are not in high school anymore where you clamber to gain your teachers approval for every question asked. You won’t get extra points and might border being annoying in the end. Unfortunately.
DON’T just DON’T
Don’t be a walking encyclopedia! Having profound knowledge stored at your fingertips is an impressive feat. BUT . . . a conversation cannot revolve around a colleague who constantly wants to always have the right answer all the time.
In the end, you might be experiencing eye-rolls and eventually you might be eating on your own. That would be quite sad indeed. If it is not high-school or even college all over. So just don’t!
Observation is one of the key points in learning. Know thy enemy as they say. But of course, at your workplace not all are enemies. But you might never know who is a friend or a foe. Office survival one-oh-one.
Enhance and build good working relationship with these “good” colleagues. Stay on a high-bye terms with those who might be those troublemakers. You cannot control the work environment, but you can control your reaction.
There is a distinctive difference in trying to be helpful or being a show-off. Yes, perhaps your work-knowledge is far superior comparing your new colleagues. Isn’t that why you are hired? Adding another human capital budget to the company in order to grow the company’s market share.
But instead of showing your new colleagues, you have been doing it wrong. My way is the right way. Why don’t you word it differently by showing a solution to the current problem at hand.
The conversation can go something like . . . “The current way might work before, but perhaps we can try this other way to see if it would encourage different results”. Don’t try to take all the credit if your suggestion works. You still need teammates to run a successful project.
Your boss will definitely see the positive results and will reward you in time. Sometimes, playing the fool actually do help. But of course don’t be one!