by Lawrence J. J. Leonard
Let’s see. This is not a trick question, but it is a concern which some Team Leaders should assess when building rapport and especially when mentoring new hires and promotable employees. What does going bananas mean?
The term bananas first appeared in the US in 1942 “The American Thesaurus of Slang: a complete reference book of colloquial speech in the definition for eccentric” with a meaning of: “Balmy, bats, bent, crazy . . .” In 1833 an American slang meaning of the term bent was to be interpreted as intoxicated with alcohol or drugs. So, this just a definition using slang to define other slang.
Remember when Gwen Stefani sang a song taking back her power? There was a chearleading call B-A-N-A-N-A-S in the lyrics of that song “Hollaback Girl.” In 2005 the track became an anthem for “looking out for number one.” This attitude is completely appropriate in our personal lives. It is quite the opposite in the context of a business or in the development of customer relations.
According to the lexicographer J. E. Lighter, go bananas as an expression alluded to the similar go ape which meant to act in a wild way.
This could also mean behaving oddly.
In business there are several personality glitches that are expressed among employee groups and individuals which could be classified as behaving oddly. These displays and affectations may well be real deficits which hold back a team’s enthusiasm, or worse, delay achievement.
If somebody is bananas on your business team, this can also mean that your somebody:
– Can only do things “one way” (my way)
– Discusses what’s going on and does not engage in it
– Does not aspire to make things better
– Has a negative attitude
– Has no real ambition or desire to make things better
– Lacks a long-term vision
– Lets others decide while offering no opinions
– Takes other people’s time for selfish endeavors
– Thinks she/he totally understands and won’t ask one question
– Uses a shy personality trait as a barrier to communicating
– Wastes time so work is neglected
– Will not hold their own / pull their own weight
So then, you ask, what IS THE ***OPPOSITE*** of bananas? It could mean that you have a person who:
– Asks for help when help is needed
– Believes that excellence is part of the daily routine
– Engages in the conversation, even if it is just to be informed
– Focuses on the work at hand
– Gives more than she/he receives
– Is time & process flexible to support the needs of the team
– Loves a good challenge / sees opportunity
– NEVER assumes she/he knows every detail – and also asks questions
– Reads books to develop fully as a person
– Sees the Status Quo as the bottom rung of the ladder
– Thinks about and plans current projects
– Understands her/ his shortcomings and seeks to improve self
– Volunteers and supports when assistance is requested
Present and future business leaders are THE ***OPPOSITE*** of bananas. Are you?
Copyright © 1960-2018 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.