Staying in one’s lane: No thanks

About four weeks ago, I sat down with someone for the first time. I was meant to go over a slew of information to help the individual acclimate themselves to their new role. Beforehand, I had originally been cautiously optimistic about the meeting. Soon into the meeting, however, I came to realize a few things. First, the meeting wasn’t going to end well. Whether that specific meeting or ones thereafter. Second, it goes against my very nature to stay in my so-called lane. If pressed, I will readily note that the two things were indeed related.

I really do not care for the phrase “stay in one’s lane“. It’s obnoxious and closes off possible insightful discussions. The phrase comes from lanes on a road that guide traffic and keep drivers from going where they shouldn’t.    Some will say that staying in one lane’s means that you should mind your own business. But it means so much more than that.   Some use that phrase to let you know that keep doing what you have been doing and don’t venture into something new –even if you have the right to or the knowledge to.


In the workplace it can be used to keep people boxed into a certain area and to not go into someone else’s work-lane.   Often it is seen as just being politic or keeping to one’s area of hire. As I like to note, I’m not a one-note pony. My knowledge areas are wide, I’m informed and can think as well as extrapolate.  Now I am not saying that you necessarily go ahead and give your opinion on matters that you have absolutely no knowledge of and aren’t even impacted by. I am just saying that you shouldn’t close off conversation and hearing from others who may bring a new perspective. Don’t try to put other people in their place.  It is just not cool and can only hurt others.

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