I’ve told you before how much I hate the word “should.” I hate being told, “you should read this book” or “you should put this story there.” I have enough things on my to-do list without anyone else adding to it.

Deep down, I know that when a friend tells me I “should,” they are really recommending something, but I’d much, much prefer to hear it phrased differently. “This is a great book. You might like it.” I catch myself “shoulding” other people too. Recently I told Quyn she “should take us to MoMA.” I felt terrible as soon as I heard the words leave my mouth. Sorry, Quyn!

So one thing to know about me is that I hate being told what to do. I’m not a child. I can take care of myself. When someone tells me what to do, it makes me want to do the opposite. Even if I was going to do it before he or she said anything.

We’ve been talking at work a lot about different personalities and the ways in which people prefer to be approached. My preference is tell me what I need to know, then get out of my way and let me do it. I don’t need hand-holding or micromanaging to get it done. And I don’t need applause and congratulations when I do it right. In fact, that makes me wonder if everyone expected me to scew it up. If you notice I screw something up, my feelings won’t be hurt if you tell me that. In fact, I want to hear it. I don’t want you to coddle me and quietly fix it for me. (Except you, Barbara, Chris & Anna, but we’ve hashed this out before.)

It’s also been brought to my attention that some people LIKE “getting direction.” And expect that from me when I’m the one in charge. And here I thought I was respecting their competency.

I’ll work on not reacting negatively to getting direction. What’s your style?

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