See the person and not the jerk

Who we are is who we are with others. 

Slow down and read that simple sentence again, because it is hard to swallow. Another way to say it is: We are who we are with others. 

Most leaders have a deep commitment to being kind and thoughtful. Yet it is easy for leaders to spend their energy measuring, thinking in terms of productivity, pressuring people to meet project deadlines.  

Unconsciously, relationships are flung to the side. 

You may be thinking, “Surely this big statement about relationships doesn’t apply at work.”

     Internal chatter: I have enough to do just to get the work done. I don’t want to have to work things out with people who are acting like jerks. 

What if you could enjoy work and get more done? 

     Internal chatter: I don’t believe it. Relationships are always what muddy the water and slow things down.

Naomi, one of the team leaders, was overwhelmed with the infighting going on in her division. She was unhappy to have this on her plate. She gathered up her courage and laid down the law with them. “Stop it!” she demanded.

How do you think that worked?

Once Naomi examined and changed her attitudes from seeing combatants and problems to seeing valuable people needing help, the environment changed. They were important players on the team who needed something yet intangible in her mind. Going back to them with openness in her mind and heart helped Naomi find the root of the problem and remove it.

You can have enjoyment and productivity. It requires caring about others, even when others are acting like jerks. Because sometimes we all need a helping hand.

RelationSmiths, Nancy and Sharon

This week’s challenge; Don’t see the jerk; see the person.


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