Don’t Be a Parker

go to site Some people are afraid to merge into heavy traffic. Parked on the on-ramp, they hold up all sorts of vehicles while waiting for a large, open space in the constant stream of uncivil conveyances. Even if a hole eventually opens up, there’s not enough time to get up to speed and merge. Horns blare. Tempers flare.

And that car just sits on the ramp.

When there’s heavy traffic, few people will let you in. And you can expect the ire of everyone if you stop. The only way to merge with traffic is to slam pedal to metal: Match the speed of traffic, then flow gracefully into the onrush of metal monsters.

http://imli.gr/good/zakladka-skorosti-spb.html One person can bring everything to a screeching halt. It’s as true in your organization as it is on the highway. Some people stop out of fear of jumping into the fray. Others stop with nefarious intent.

Some people can’t — or purposefully won’t — fit in the workplace. I call them “parkers.” For whatever reasons buzzing about in their heads, parkers choose not to go along with the flow. Some parkers park to display a perceived superiority or to highlight uniquenesses. Some park as a method of controlling others. Some even park to gain attention.

Parkers can park by talking incessantly at meetings. They park by purposefully slowing down processes. A parker might have a new grievance every week, or stop talking to co-workers to show disdain. Whatever the frivolous or even deep-seated psychological cause, parkers stop traffic. And when they do, everyone else blows their horns.

“To yield” does not mean to submit or lose one’s identity in an organization. But it does mean one must make accommodation for others. Yielders look for ways to merge with others, to be together, to associate, to mesh, to integrate. Parkers, however, are unyielding.

And they are loathed.

The analogy of oil and vinegar fits well here. Frequently the vinegar in an organization results merely from an unintended hiring mismatch. Parkers are very much like that vinegar… but parkers are vinegar with intention. “I will not mix! I will not yield! I will not merge!”

Do you have a parker? The solution is easy, and it’s not about a decision you need to make; it’s a decision the parker needs to make. Your parker needs to know that you know what’s going on. Your parker needs to hear you blow your horn a few times. Show the parker how to slide into traffic.

If he/she chooses not to put pedal to metal, you can stop blowing your horn and relax because the solution is easy: Clear the road. Eliminate the parker. After all, it is your responsibility to keep traffic flowing.

Just call a tow truck.

 

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One Response to Don’t Be a Parker

  1. Ellen Ruddock says:

    I loved the analogy. So true. And the repercussions of not clearing the road are devastating to the morale of all in the flow. Great blog, Jeffrey.

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