Don’t assume that a skill is also an enjoyable activity
I’m good at stacking the dishwasher. That doesn’t mean I enjoy it. I can also make a pretty mean coffee on my home espresso machine. However, I don’t want to make coffee for 200 other people.
Most of you could probably relate to having something in your life that you do well, but it’s not how you would want to spend your days.
How often do we classify people and then assign tasks to them based on their ability to perform a task without asking if they actually enjoy it?
“Jane is great with spreadsheets. We’ll get her to do that.”
Yes, sometimes the task is part of the job the person signed up for and sometimes we just have to take one for the team and do something we don’t enjoy.
I’m not talking about that.
I’m talking about when we assume that because Jane is great with spreadsheets she must really like it, and so we label her the Spreadsheet Queen and load her up with working on everyone’s spreadsheets.
Meanwhile, if Jane hates working on spreadsheets but has left it too late to speak up for herself, she is in for a world of misery.
How do we stop it?
It’s really simple. When we catch ourselves making that assumption, remember to ask a couple of extra questions…
“Do you enjoy doing this?”
“Does it energise you or drain you?”
And if you’re ‘Jane’ in this story, you need to find the assertiveness to speak up. You may disappoint a few people, but it will be better for your sanity in the long run.
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