Over the past five months I have helped start a “Green Team” at work to look at different aspects of our operations to see if we can be better stewards of our resources. The Green Team increased the office paper recycling, eliminated Styrofoam cups, and hosted an E-waste collection day for the employees to bring in all of their old electronics equipment from home. The next challenge we are going to pose to the entire company is a day of public/alternative transportation. This is part of the reason that I wanted to ride public transportation to work last week – gotta do it before you can ask others to do it. The Green Team efforts are not the point of this post. What’s interesting is that I had a friend come into my office today to tell me that when I start to talk about Green-efforts I act different than I normally act. He went on to say that I have this slight arrogance when I discuss it like I am on another level than the people that I talk to about it. He said that it’s a very subtle change in behavior – not necessarily offensive, but still out of character for me.
At first I got a little defensive, but told him that I would try to think about my actions and reactions a little more on this subject. I consider this person a good friend and really value his observations and comments. I spent the afternoon thinking about what he said, and maybe there is something to it. I feel very passionately about the stewardship of our resources, and maybe that energy and zeal inadvertently comes out as haughty.
The constructive criticism made me realize that I need to temper my energy when I get supercharged on a subject (public education, recycling, local politics, religion, etc). As much as I like to discuss these topics, if I am talking down to others instead of with them, the conversation isn’t going to go very far. On the flip side, I know I have been turned off in conversations as soon as the other person starts passively judging and pointing out how I should act/think/feel. This exercise really has me thinking about how to effectively express a message.
I’m glad I have a friend that will point this out to me.