Is being ‘easy to work with’ always a good thing?
Whether you are employed or self-employed the chances are that at some point during your working life someone will have told you that you are easy to work with. Perhaps it was a client for whom you were providing a service or maybe it was a work colleague who you had to team up with on a task. Whatever the circumstances were, it’s nice when someone says that, isn’t it? At times though, as much as I like to be a good person to work with, when I hear those words they do make me wonder if I’m being a little too easy to work with.
Are you easy to work with or a pushover?
Whether we are in a work environment or just general day to day life, we all have opinions. Some people may naturally be more forceful or confident in their expression of those opinions, but we all have them. If you are a shy and timid person or you are considered to be ‘easy going’ then you will more than likely also be considered as someone who is easy to work with. The only problem with this comes when you are working with or perhaps negotiating with someone who is a naturally strong and demanding person. In this situation, your kind and reasonable nature could quite easily lead to you being walked all over. Here are a couple of situations where that could happen.
In the work environment
Let’s say you have been teamed together with a fellow employee to complete some kind of work task. You both have completely different opinions as to how something should be done but your colleague is a lot more vocal than you are and as a result he/she tends to always get their way. In this circumstance being ‘easy to work with’ can actually prove to be a huge issue as your ideas will likely not get listened to or implemented, even though they may be better than your colleagues. If your colleague’s ideas are successful then – as they have a naturally vocal personality – they will likely ensure that they receive all of the credit for those ideas. If their ideas turn to failure though, you can be sure that most of the blame will somehow be shifted onto you for either lacking in ideas or for not being more vocal about your ideas. or in essence being more ‘difficult to work with’.
Have you ever been in a negotiating situation and afterwards been told that you were ‘very easy to deal with’? Again it is nice to be told that as I like to be able to maintain good business relationships. On occasion though, this phrase can send alarm bells ringing in my head, why? Well it usually happens when I realise that I haven’t really gotten all of the things that I wanted from the deal, yet the other party seems to have everything that they wanted. Yes I’ve been ‘easy to deal with’ but if I’d have been a little more ‘difficult’ then I probably would have gotten a better deal. True, it might not have made for a pleasurable negotiating experience and there may have been a few awkward moments but in the end it would have been worth it.
It’s all about balance I suppose
I know that some people might disagree with me here and may think that you should always get your own way – as it’s the best way – but personally I’d like to think that balance is key. As much as I don’t like to be a difficult person to work or negotiate with, I also don’t want to be the kind of person that gets ignored, walked all over or taken for a ride. I feel like I’m going off on a bit of a tangent now but I suppose what I’m trying to say is that if someone tells you that you can be quite difficult to work or deal with, it’s not always such a bad thing to hear. On the flip side, if you find that everyone is always telling you how easy you are to work with, yet your opinions and ideas never seem to get heard or you never seem to get the deal you want, perhaps it’s time you became a little more ‘difficult’.
Can you think of situation where you wish you’d have been a little more ‘difficult’?