I generally describe myself as "non-confrontational". The interesting thing about this is: most people I work with would probably disagree. I think most people I'm friends with would agree though. I am shy with strangers, and I hate confrontation. In fact I have to laugh at myself, because I so desire to be liked -- when I interact with a waitress who seems annoyed, I tend to be extra nice and personable in order to make her like me.
But I digress. What I wanted to talk about was the fact that not many people at work consider me non-confrontational or shy. The thing is: in order to be good at my job I have to be a little bit aggressive and forward. It gets things done, and I like to get things done. I will do what it take to get things done; that's what makes me good.
That has expanded into a kind of boldness that I never would have thought possible. I have been learning to call people out when they do things wrong. It makes them better, and the work environment better. But it's hard, because I prefer it if everybody could just quietly get along! For example, today I actually uttered the following phase out loud:
"That was a really passive-aggressive thing to say. Was that really necessary?"
Talk about confrontation! I used to be
the passive-aggressive one!
Even better than my boldness at calling somebody out was his response: "No, you're right. Thanks for pointing it out."
I nodded, said "You're welcome," and we continued to have a civil conversation. I think it even went fairly well. Nifty!