What is your workplace personality? Do you let your true colors show? As I was walking down rows and rows of cubicles the other day in a corporate office, I was impressed by the way each employee decorated their space, adding their own pieces of workplace flair. Whether it was colorful posters, pictures of family, or an assortment of action figures (I’ll admit, I stayed a while to check this one closer), each person’s personality came through. Even those that didn’t have all the bright colors and flair had a certain personalization to their workspace. That’s when it donned on me. You don’t have to be boring to be professional.
Think outside the box. In fact, there is no box. Seriously, stop thinking about the box. You’re thinking about the box now, aren’t you? Strive to come up with unique solutions to challenges that affect the workplace. There are no dumb ideas. Imagine where we’d be if the Wright brothers listened to their peers telling them that they’d never fly or if Thomas Edison stopped trying after his first attempt to invent the incandescent light bulb, telegraph, or Kinetoscope. The Oscars wouldn’t be the same if Edison had thought within the confines of his “box.”
Keep your objectives in front of you. Don’t lose sight of what you’re actually trying to accomplish. Make sure what you’re doing contributes to the overall objective. Wild ideas come to me all the time, but I always ask myself this question: “how does this align with my strategic objectives?” If it doesn’t align, you might want to reconsider.
Be different and have a little fun. It’s okay to be different. That’s what diversity is – difference. Whether it’s a different perspective (thought diversity) or a view from a different background (cultural diversity,) difference is good. After all, great minds think differently, not alike. The companies with the best workplace cultures get this. Personality makes the world go ‘round. Just remember that there’s a time and place for said personality. Joking around too much at work can cause others to not take you seriously. There’s a balance. It’s okay to laugh and let others see a different side of you other than the Professional Paul persona. Do you enjoy what you do? Do others know this? Feel free to share!
It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you let people see the “real you.” You can let your personality shine, yet still maintain a professional image. I’m sure there is more to it than what I’m thinking, but why overanalyze? Let’s keep it simple.
What are your suggestions on how to inject personality into your work? I’d love to know. Please leave a comment below. The dialogue is open. It’s your move. :)