In Dan Rockwell’s above-titled blog, posted December 9, 2014, he advised leaders:
“Don’t allow people with clean hands to complain about people who are sweaty and dirty.”
Every professional painter understands the implication of any question, or comment, about his or her physical appearance, and hygiene, on the job.
On behalf of every professional painter everywhere that has gotten sweaty and/or dirty – and been asked or heard about it…
FIRST: Definitions of (1) an implied question, and (2) a better question to ask.
1. Implied question: What a question suggests or means, by the words, tone of voice, and/or look used.
2. Better question: The question that can be asked, and result in a better outcome.
SECOND: Some actual questions that I’ve been asked – one way or another:
Implied question: Why aren’t you clean like the rest of us?
Better question: You’ve had a busy day. Any problem that you need help with?
Implied question: Your hygiene: Don’t you use antiperspirant?
Better question: It’s been a hot, sweaty job. Thanks for your help. Would you like to cool off under a shower? A few others, including I, use the one in Room 120.
Implied question: Why can’t you keep your uniform spotless?
Better question: Thing they’ll ever figure out how to make stain-proof painter’s pants?
Implied question: How often do you change uniforms?
Better question: Has the order for your clean uniforms been put on hold again? Yes? Let me see what I can do about that.
Implied question: Gross! Why can’t you keep mold and bleach off your uniform?
Better question: What can we do to make this better? Any way we can help make this job easier and safer for you?
Implied question: Why does your uniform always look so damp and disgusting by this time every day?
Better question: Wouldn’t it be great to end a work day as fresh-looking as the office people?
Implied question: It’s embarrassing! Don’t you know how to keep yourself clean?
Better question: What might we try to make this part of your job less messy. You’re doing a tremendous job around here.
Implied question: Boy, do you know that you smell like paint?
Better question: That paint you’re using has an interesting odor, doesn’t it?
Implied question: Are you certain that you know what you’re doing?
Better question: Are there other ways to do that?
Implied question: Why does it look like that?
Better question: What will it look like when it’s finished?
Implied question: Won’t that make a big mess?
Better question: That’s a dirty job, isn’t it? Sorry you have to be the one to do it.
Implied question: Can’t you do that any faster?
Better question: That job looks like it’s going to take some time to do. Any idea how much more time you’ll need?
Implied question: Are you going to cover the furniture before you paint?
Better question: There sure is a lot to cover before you start to paint. Do you have enough plastic dropcloths, or old clean sheets?
Implied question: Why did you do it that way?
Better question: Is there more than one way to do that?
Implied question: You won’t leave the room in a mess, will you?
Better question: Would you leave the room as neat as you can when you’re finished?
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
1. Timing is everything! Is this a better or worse time to ask this question?
2. Location! Location! Is this a better or worse place to ask this question?
3. The tendency is to ask that question now, before one forgets, gets distracted, and/or walks off.
4. Often, it pays to think a minute, beforehand, about what one wants to say? What point does one want or need to make?
5. Often, it pays to anticipate the other person’s reaction or response to one’s question, before one asks it. Does the question need to be phrased differently?
6. Too often, the question that one asks implies something very different from what is intended.
7. Too often, a question is asked before its implication or effect – versus intent – is considered.
8. Many persons don’t recognize the implications of what they have said, until it is too late. Words and actions are not erasable.
9. Sensitivity in the workplace has its place!
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Keep up the good work, everyone. And, thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”