Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Move Beyond First Impressions

When I was in college and during my student leader years, I met this fellow student leader. I met her because she’s an organization president just like me then. She has an evenly tanned skin. And her face doesn’t have any pimples. She sports a sort of wash-and-wear type of hair. Once, I watched her in a debating contest (the real debate, not some religious leaders are initiating as a form of “who’s right”). During my undergraduate days at Adamson University, she’s known because she’s a very active and VOCAL organization president (during those times, I am more of an action guy, rather than a talker during my organization days). Man, I can say she’s good. She’s active. In other words, she’s popular. I have to admit; I find her interesting. I subliminally decided not to ask her out or strike even a friendly conversation. Whenever there’s a chance to chat with her, it’s more organization. I admit; I got intimidated by her status. I felt at that time that she’ll not have a conversation with a guy who likes math, crossword, sci-fi, comedy. After all, unlike right now, geeks are cool (thanks to CSI , BONES, Eureka, Criminal Minds, and more recently, the movie Tron Legacy).

Years later, around 6 years later, I got a chance to chat and go out with her. Like typical alumni, we refreshed those times. Then, out of nowhere, I said “you know what? Back then, I’m interested to talk to you, but I don’t want to have a longer conversation with you.” She asked me why. I answered, “I was quite shy and I was kind of intimidated because you’re well-known.” She answered back, “really? The feeling is mutual. I’m also interested but I was also kind of intimidated.” That day ended with laughter and renewed friendship. As of this writing, she’s now in a serious, yet happy relationship…just like me.

6 long years of wrong assumptions. I thought of these things to her and she thought the same things to me. The bottom line: back then, we’re both interested. THE LESSON: MOVE BEYOND FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

Because of that learning experience, I decided to take calculated risks on approaching people and saying what I truly feel. This is also the reason why I’m with Amie right now: I made a calculated of approaching her.

This also applies in meeting new people. We are not omniscient beings. In meeting new people, we have no choice but to take the risks. The Bible only reminded us to be cautious and only avoid if in doubtful situations; the Bible didn’t tell us to be antisocial.

We tend to live and die on first impressions. It’s a natural tendency. Reasons vary why tend to live and die on first impressions. We don’t want to look stupid at the end of the day when it’s proven that the person is a manipulative freak. We judge because of certain behavioral patterns. Some people I know judge because of certain “vibes” (I usually call it “feel factor”). Hence, you’re already shut down before you open your mouth. Other people have previous negative experiences why they don’t want to take the risks. (Note: The reason why these things are not well spoken of is because of the prejudice one will get while saying this.)

This holiday season, why not begin to take calculated risks (allow me to use the word) of interacting? Try to be sociable, friendly, nice, and generous. If you’re not compensated back, let’s face it: God will reward you in some other forms. Again, I hope made sense this holiday season.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Basic Courtesy and Other Stuff for Middle Level Managers...so to speak (part 2)

(As I have promised, I’ll continue this. Maybe you’ll find it boring, but hey, I’m trying to be a man of my words)

6) Being the middle level manager, you’re not the big boss. Please don’t act like one. Yes, you are given the privilege or you’re promoted. Yes, you may obtained it through hard work (not through nepotism or “whom you know”), but be reminded that there’s someone above you. In fact, even CEOs and Business owners have SOMEONE above them – God.

7) Stick and do your OWN job. Does this mean if you’re a middle level manager, you don’t have any right to call the shots? Yes and No. Yes if the situation in question is not within your jurisdiction. For example, in a private school, if you’re in charge of records, you’ll not meddle with things like marketing, admissions, and the like. Maybe you know the “no” part: you should do you own job. Okay, some disguise meddling as a form of concern, but here’s the meter stick: is your job finished? Let’s go back to the example. If you’re in charge of record keeping, finish your job first before showing your “concern”. One time, there’s a student, who, after one semester, still doesn’t know that her name in school records is different from her actual name. Your head will shake when you found that the one in charge of this matter is meddling with other department’s work, instead of delegating the record keeper’s staff to double check student records. One of the reasons why department heads are put up is because the task is so hard that it takes undivided attention to do the job.

8) Take into consideration the old timers and veterans in your organization. Take their words into consideration. Yes, they can be annoying sometimes because of their, well, advanced age. However, if you want to stay, never mess with the old timers or else, you’ll receive the “sermon and tongue lashing of your life”. Okay, what if these old timers did something wrong? Just stick to your job. If these old timers are of retiring age, and their retirement’s near, just give them a graceful exit, if it’s possible. I think you readers are more intelligent than I do when it comes in handling, well, seniors.

9) Humility is the key…still. Even if you admit it, you didn’t go to that position strictly by yourself. One way or another, people helped you to be there. Why are not we aware of this sometimes? Because the people who helped you don’t keep records.

There you have it. I know you have more things in mind. Still, I hope they have been a good help.