Getting along with other people in the workplace, cooperating and communicating successfully, is a constant challenge. It doesn't seem to get any easier, no matter how many books are written and workshops are given.
It doesn't seem to matter who buys the books and pays for the workshops. People are still very predictable - we want to be heard and appreciated, and we want to do things our own way.
It's true in marriages and it's true in boardrooms and courtrooms, too.
Seth Godin's books chronicle his creative work life, navigating amongst people wanting to be heard and appreciated, and wanting to do things their own way. People who hire us, people who do what we do and people we hire to help us all want these same things.
I am often struck by the fact that creativity and intelligence is not welcomed, it's discouraged. Seth Godin has weathered this dichotomy and prospered. It's not easy to prosper when other people feel threatened and want their own ideas to prevail, no matter what the consequences.
Here's the question Seth asks, and we should all consider, working inside an organization or working freelance for a client:
"Do you have the privilege of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages about your project to the people you work with?
Honestly, I have assumed this privilege many times and it was a mistake. Now I ask. I say, "Would you like to hear about....?"
It's just not safe to make the assumption that people who are paying you actually want to hear your ideas.
Branding ourselves as trustworthy and as a viable source of trusted ideas and information is a process that takes time, in a marriage or on a job.
It's internal marketing and it just takes time.