Gentle Assertiveness

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives.
 – Andrew Carnegie

An efficient office works well when people communicate well, allow each other to focus on their own responsibilities and support each other. If one person begins to neglect one or more of their duties or tries to take over the duties of others, the fine mesh of the office network begins to unravel. This picture is perfect: can you imagine what would happen if someone let go and tried to take over someone else’s link?

At the moment I feel like my link is being taken over in subtle ways. Little duties, here and there, are being completed without my permission or input. Duties that are directly my responsibility, no one else’s. I need to become assertive. Assertive in re-establishing my role in the network, assertive in getting my needs and the needs of others met in a friendly, respectful, positive manner. Recently, I’ve found myself just accepting changes around the office. Accepting without even questioning or checking into things or taking a moment to consider the ramifications. My decline into complacency has been worsening lately. It started a little while ago and has quickened its pace now to a rapid descent, or should I say plummet, bringing me to a sad but real level of distrust of the people I work with.

I cannot allow this to continue, the easy road never takes a person anywhere good. It always dumps you in some forlorn, ratty, smelly hole. These days I need to get back on top of my game at the office and manage things more closely. With my energy levels at an all time low and my thinking/analytical capabilities seem to be somewhat diminished, I can’t risk losing my place in the network. I need the people around me at work to focus on what they’re responsible for and let me focus on my own responsibilities. I had a brief, hopefully not too unpleasant, discussion this morning about duties and responsibilities. While I appreciate that the person I was speaking with had been trying to help ease some of the perceived burden I’m under at the moment, taking initiative to perform work that I would normally do, I explained that I would prefer they ask first before proceeding. For now I can manage quite well, if I need help, I will ask for it.

Being assertive with myself sounds silly. But I have to push myself to complete certain tasks and stay focused. Often these days I struggle, in complete silence, with tasks that I once performed while whistling, listening to the radio and possibly even chatting on the phone. It’s as though most of my brain cells have vacated my brain and haven’t left any instructions for the remaining ones. I imagine my little herd of cognitive abilities roaming around on my desk. When I try to round them up and put them to good use, they gather together, lemming-like, and dash themselves over the edge of the desk into a sad heap on the floor. Rather than just give up, I must redouble my efforts and make new connections in my brain. In effect replacing the abilities that threw themselves over the cliff and try to resuscitate the few that remained. I’m really counting on the fact that I haven’t been using all of my brainpower – isn’t that what they say? We hardly begin to touch on the potential of our brainpower? With any luck the activities of puzzling and working through challenges at the office, making new connections between brain cells will keep me in good order.

I’m hopeful that re-establishing the tried and true network of duties in the office will be effective and that my perseverance with resurrecting my own abilities will have positive results.

About Christine N

I'm married to Daryle, Mom to two wonderful boys - Daniel and Andy.
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