Find Your Tribe, Part Two

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

31 January 2019

In my previous post, I dove into the idea of finding your tribe, or as I like to put it, becoming a part of a village.

In our personal lives, it can be easy to identify the people that participate in our village. But it isn’t as cut and dry in the workplace. You may have a ton of acquaintances or even decent relationships with your higher-ups, but would you consider them a part of your professional village? Can you count on them for anything above superficial conversation and a firm handshake?

When you spend more than 40 hours a week with a group of people, you’re likely to bond because you face a variety of situations together. As projects and shifts progress, there are issues that come up. As we tackle those issues, we find out about our coworkers’ values. And when our values match, it becomes much easier to resolve future issues together.

Think about the people in your work life that you’d consider more than acquaintances. Think about the relationship you have with your boss. Do all those people share your values? How do they react during stressful work situations? I imagine your answers will align with your level of contentment in your current employment arrangement.

If your answers were negative, if you’re not content in your current arrangement, remember people move on more rapidly in the business world than they do in our personal lives. It may seem scary to start a new job. Or it may seem frustrating to work for someone who has opposing values. Either way, keep in mind that there will always be an ebb and flow in the workplace. People will come and people will go. And most important, that’s okay.

Similar to our personal lives, if we want to have good connections, we have to be a good connection. When we find folks in our professional networks that share our values, we should hold onto them. As we go through our lives, our networks will grow and shrink. Our values will evolve and change. But one thing won’t:

We’re human. And we thrive together.