Last week, my friend (and boss) posted a great blog on “You are What You Tweet: Content and Company Define Us.” If you haven’t read it, please take few minutes to do so, but only after you read this!
Since then, I have been thinking a lot about a related topic. The company you keep is really important but sometimes negative people are unavoidable. I am fortunate today to work in a positive and fun office. We are a small team who really has one another’s back while we seek the best way to serve our wonderful clients.
Not everyone is so lucky and I certainly haven’t been in the past. At one previous job, I had a great boss who I got along with fabulously but a so-called friend spread rumors that my relationship with the boss was something more than professional.
At another job, a colleague cornered me in my office and screamed obscenities at me because the local paper wouldn’t cover his events. Still another colleague pretended to be nice to me all the while telling our boss that I was a problem and begging for my dismissal even while I was a contract employee.
Not for a minute do I think my experience is unusual. So how do you find ways to surround yourself with positive and uplifting people and maybe even enjoy your job and thrive?
- Be true to yourself. This requires that you know yourself and what you believe. When you treat yourself with respect, others will follow.
- Be honest with others. We’ve all heard the honesty is the best policy so often that it seems to be passé. But it’s not. Even when it’s hard to admit the truth, being honest will prove best in the long run. Plus, you never have to remember what lie you told when and to whom.
- Share. More than likely, if you are reading this blog, you found it on Twitter. What I love most is how the community freely shares content, advice, love of sports teams, you name it, and people do share it. Sharing knowledge is key to building relationships.
- Forgive. The toughest thing I have ever had to do is forgive someone who wronged me. But once I did, the freedom I felt could never compare to the bondage of the hate.
- Be kind. Honestly, I can’t understand mean people. It takes no more effort to be kind than it does to be cruel. And it feels a whole lot better.
I have found that by following these points, an amazing thing happens. The influence of the negative people falls away and in its place, wonderful things happen.
In my life, the rumor spreading employee was disciplined by upper management and lost out on a big promotion. The obscenity screamer was run out of his job by a coalition of people both inside and outside the organization.
Finally, the last example quit her job over a perceived slight and I was able to secure a permanent position at that firm which really became a great fit for everyone.
So, how do you cope with negative people? I’d love to hear your survival strategies.