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TheKSChronicles: No Flex Zone

by: - June 13, 2017
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By: Kerdisha St.Louis

There is an excellent chance you spend more time with your coworkers than with anyone else. That includes your spouse, kids, parents or friends. If you have a good relationship with them, that may not be a bad thing, but if you don’t, your time at work can be miserable.

Good workplace relationships can help you do your job better. They can make going to work every day enjoyable or, at least, tolerable. Bad ones can distract you from your duties and can turn a so-so job into a nightmare.

A common trait that can hinder good work relationships is OVER FLEXING at your work place. When I say flexing what I am referring to is the urban definition which means to show off.

Now don’t get me wrong bragging about yourself isn’t something to be embarrassed about. In fact, it’s absolutely vital in your professional life, which is why women in particular, who tend to underestimate their achievements, are encouraged to learn the art of self-promotion. Just remember the next time you flex about yourself that coming off as sincere is essential when highlighting your accomplishments so that they won’t be dismissed or seen in a negative light.

It can also be useful to not show others that you are the smartest person in the room. That is advice that many executives impart to their brightest up and comers. While it may be obvious, when you are bright – and able to connect dots to points that no one else can see – it’s pretty tempting to strut your own stuff. The problem is that it can be obnoxious.

When you are working with people who have power or influence over you – as well as with colleagues who with whom you must collaborate, sometimes it pays to shut up. There will be plenty of opportunities to show what you know and how you know it but do not show off. People in power don’t like it and people you work with find it annoying.

Pace yourself. Realistically speaking it is no use telling a super-bright person to start acting dumb – though I have heard such nonsense. What I can advise is to find the right moment to speak up. When discussions hit a stall point, offer suggestions, if others are intrigued, proceed. If people turn away, wait for another time.

Share your ideas with others. Organizations love team players but not all teammates are created equal. Find people you can trust and share your ideas with them. Allow them to introduce them at meetings. Yes, in the short run others will get the credit but in time people will know it is you who are offering solutions that others can use.

Learn to take the spotlight. No I am not contradicting myself: there are moments to step to the fore to show others what you know. You need to do it the right way. Show deference to superiors – that is, don’t tell them how to do their jobs. Offer a better way to do things.

One final piece of advice! Be thankful for your brilliance. Your organization has hired you because you bring that ability to see possibilities where others see roadblocks. So adopt the mindset of a problem-solver rather than a puzzle player. What’s the difference? One who solves problems offers solutions that benefit others. One who fits puzzles together simply satisfies himself.

Smart people who know when to speak up and when to act on their initiatives are a special breed. Don’t squander your opportunities by showing off. Let your cool demeanor speak up for you.