B.S. People Person

Commentary Featured Opinion Opinion

By: Robbie Kaufman

Did I go to MWSU to earn a degree in Biology or was I tricked in to earning a B.S. of people studies? All every student wants is to earn a degree so that they can get a job in a related field – or just a better paying job in general. What I’ve come to realize after having multiple jobs and now the job of my “dreams” is that just getting the job is not the hard part. The hard part is being effective within your job. Being effective in your job can have many different aspects: Showing up on time, understanding/continual learning, organization, and a positive attitude. But, showing up on time should be easy, learning takes time, organization is relative and a positive attitude comes and goes. To be the most effective at your workplace requires you to be an excellent people person. I’m defining a people person to be someone who is respectful of others, enjoyable to be around and willing to lend a helping hand. Let’s break these three aspects of being a people person down.

Someone who is respectful of others. The definition of respect is “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.” This begs the question, what if someone doesn’t have admirable abilities, qualities or achievements? Are they not worthy of my respect? This is where MWSU helped me learn to recognize and admire different qualities in different people. Far too many of us pass judgement on other individuals too quickly. Being in classes at MWSU, I have learned it takes time to recognize abilities, qualities and achievements of others. When I say that it takes time, I mean that is takes effort on my part to investigate these things. It’s simple detective work. I only ask questions about their life, goals and what they like to do for fun. Often, I find something that I have in common or at least something I can admire. This investigation fosters respect for the person, and it creates an atmosphere that can allow us to work well together. This means no, or at least less, gossip is spoken about a person (including yourself) and a good work culture is cultivated. I assume you have worked in environments where you have hated different people, and you’ve gossiped about them. I have. But, the lack of respect that I have had for others and vice versa has led me to hate my job – even if it is the supposed dream job.

Enjoyable to be around. This is a pretty easy thing for us to grasp, but it is hard to apply because we often think of ourselves as likable. It is a good thing for us to like ourselves because it builds self-confidence. The goal though is to be enjoyed by others for the purpose of having an effective and enjoyable work environment. So, take a hard look at yourself – or better yet, have someone else close to you take a hard look at you and evaluate. This is a simple thing MWSU has taught me through my professors. I’ve heard countless times from professors whether I am an enjoyable person or not. And the opinion of your professor must be highly valued, since you’ll be working with those generations. I’ve challenged myself over the years to ask professors in one way or another their opinion of me. I have worked hard to make their opinion positive, but it hasn’t always worked. Hearing criticism about your personality can be a blow to our pride. However, in the end we should cast away our pride and make the necessary adjustments.

Willing to lend a helping hand. Have you ever been slammed with school work and then a friend asks you for help? What is your initial response? Often in my head I scream, “No! Can’t you see I am busy?” What atmosphere are you creating in a busy work environment when they are all busy? Who will help you when you ask for the help that you will need? If you are always willing to lend a helping hand, you will create a happy work environment, and you’ll also earn respect of others. Let the admirable thing people respect you for be your helping hand.

Applying these three simple things will help you actually enjoy your dream job, and it will help those you work with enjoy it too.