Friday, April 01, 2005

Negativity and Trust

This has been a rough week. I've also been thinking about my "negative" attitude at work. I see a lot of positive things, but I'm also by nature a very critical person (not critcal in a bad way, but in the way of critique). I also often play devil's advocate to make sure that we consider all sides of an issue. And I also am not afraid to say when I think something isn't working. I think this comes off as negative sometimes. I think this is only a problem if I just sit around and complain, which I don't. When I think or express something negative, I'm usually doing so to solicit solutions to the problem. And I myself often try to come up with solutions.

Yesterday, we had a big discussion of The Tipping Point and toward the end of our discussion, we were talking about how to work within our communities to encourage "tipping." Most of the people in the group are librarians and work primarily with students. I work primarily with faculty. I was discussing how I felt that the faculty didn't trust me as an expert, wheras people in similar positions to mine at other institutions felt they were completely trusted. I'm wondering if it's my critical nature that's causing either real distrust or the feeling of distrust on my part. So I'm resolving to go out among the faculty more and build that trust--even if it really already exists.

The other thing that sometimes causes me to feel this way is my colleagues. When I do offer a solution, sometimes it's shot down as being unappealing to the faculty, as something they won't want to do. And I'm thinking, how do you know until you try? I think we need to have some real discussions with people before we jump to such conclusions.

Over the next few weeks, I'm really going to make an effort, which I hope to continue into the summer and fall, to make myself more visible and more available. I will, of course, document some of that here.