Don’t be too helpful at work.

It sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it? We want to show how valuable we are and how we deserve to be promoted or grow in our responsibilities. The truth is if you are too helpful, others will resent you and you will become a target.

Repeatedly I have found that when I have offered too many suggestions, I will get ignored. If you offer to train, go above and beyond, or whatever people will think negatively of you. Strange but true. They don’t want to look bad, and they resent you making them look lazy with your excitement and energy.

Therefore if you are someone who loves what you do, you need to temper that and not push others. If you try to push others you only cause them to dig in and resent any improvements you are trying to make.

Let me be clear, even when you are the boss you can’t push people. You can encourage them, support them, assist them, but ultimately the rate that people work is their own. No short term bonus, trick or game will encourage them to work like you do.

In many ways this has been a hard lesson for me to learn. I love discovering things and always want to research and try new things. Not everyone has that same level of curiosity and energy. We are all different, so you respect people where they are. Some people need to think about things a long time and wait until there are serious problems until they will act.

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I find this frustrating. When I see the first signs of a problem I take action. I am not going to wait until something becomes critical before I deal with it. I find it interesting how many people wait until they can’t use something and only then are they motivated to change. I find change by emergency to be stressful and unnecessary.

Learn to read the room and not offer and be too helpful. Others will appreciate you matching their energy level.