So fess up. Have you ever not let someone into your lane of traffic? Come on! I know you’ve done it, because I have too!
Now, it could be that the person wants into your lane because their lane is ending, or it could be that they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing, it doesn’t matter, they want into YOUR lane, and you don’t let them in.
It’s easy NOT to let them in.
You’ve got tinted windows, you just keep looking forward, pretend you don’t see them, no eye contact necessary, right?
Aha, so you HAVE done it!
But how do you feel when you don’t let them in? Do you pass judgment? Do you think that just because they want to get into your lane, they must be some type of “self-absorbed Neanderthal“? Seriously, what are they thinking?
Or maybe, you’re the type of person who just lets everyone in.
If your general rule is not to let someone in, then chances are you feel a bit aggressive, even confrontational when it happens. Your blood pressure rises and your pocket change is bound for the swear jar. Heck, most men are two steps away from pulling out the baseball bat.
Could this be why men die sooner?
If your general rule is to let people in, you’ve probably come to terms with the fact that this stuff is just going to happen. You’re not going to let it upset you, and you just let them in.
You almost don’t notice. It’s all part of life’s flow.
You are probably calmer and more easy-going. Chances are, you’ve got good planning skills, and actually left early enough to get yourself where you needed to go in plenty of time.
So now think of your workplace. Everyone, including you, needs to get “somewhere” during a day, a week or a year. Everyone has goals and pressures that make them do what they feel they need to do, and sometimes people cut in to where you’re trying to go.
Are you the type of person who helps people get on their way or do you block them, ignore them, and let the next guy deal with them?
Which one of these behaviors do you think builds a better team, a better workplace, better overall outcomes?
Fortunately, in the workplace, we have the advantage of talking to people when they seem to be cutting in our lane, and that’s helpful.
It’s like we’re in convertibles.
IF we can find out why they’re cutting in, we might just want to help them. If we need to cut in and we explain ourselves, we might actually get some help as well.
I have seen people in organizations that seem to be solely focused on blocking other people.
It’s their M.O. to get themselves ahead.
It leads to a lot of behind-the-scenes gossip, in-fighting, petty politics and a general lack of productivity. Who wants to be in THAT environment? No wonder these teams break apart quickly.
OK, I know that traffic is traffic and you and I are not likely to change our traffic habits. But in the workplace, the key to success is better communication, and when that happens, we can all get to where we need to go.