What do you want?, by Will Saunders
Lately, a colleague has been stopping past my desk early in the morning just to offer her morning greetings. That’s new behavior for her. I have worked here since 2006 and only in the last month or so has she been coming to say hello without also wanting something from me. In the past, I’d get a “Hello, how are you?” greeting from her, then she’d abruptly shift to ask me for assistance on a project or guidance dealing with a stakeholder or help locating an office policy or something to that effect. Now that her new motif is to stop by unconditionally to say “Hello” and briefly fellowship, I’m sorry if my body language screams “What do you really want?” in a loud, screeching voice. She’ll sometimes say something like, “oh, I’m only just passing by to say good morning.” I suppose she can tell that I’m sitting there waiting on her friendly false pretense to end and tell me why she really stopped by like she used to always do. “Just get to the point, I’m thinking.” But it turns out she truly is being genuine. No favors. No questions. No false pretense. Just “Good morning.”
So what’s my point? If you turned over a new leaf and behave in a way to which people are unaccustomed, do not be alarmed if they think you are not being authentic and genuine. Don’t blame them for doubting you if you hadn’t usually presented yourself in that way. Not everyone will quickly accept the new you. That’s only natural. Give them time and be consistent. Over time, once they see you really are a new person, they’ll slowly receive the newness of you with open arms. Just be patient.