It Is Not My Fault If You Fail

pat on the back

While my daughter Pammy was trying to watch a professional baseball game, her older sister, Sydney’s objective was not watching, but socializing. Unfortunately, Sydney was often standing in Pammy’s line of sight.We were in the nosebleed section, so pushing her sister out of the way wasn’t the smartest solution…but it was the one she chose.

Her sister tumbled down a couple of rows, scaring everyone..except Pammy, who just kept watching the game.

After the screaming, yelling, and hub-bub of making sure Sydney was not hurt, Pammy continued to casually maintain her innocence, saying, “She slipped.”

I’ve often thought of her almost comic coldness while consulting in dysfunctional workplaces.

So many similarities…

  • “sibling” rivalry
  • competing goals and objectives
  • one-upmanship
  • truth stretching
  • competition for resources
  • dog-eat-dog

I wish “hate-chaos” wasn’t so common in the workplace…but it is. In order to avoid getting the wrong kind of “pat on the back” and other undesirable ramifications working with unsympathetic co-workers, try these tips:

  1. Find out what they want.
    • Leverage always starts here. No one really cares about what we want until they know that we care about what they want. This takes effort because most of us are very occupied with what we want.
  2. Know their story.
    • When we see someone in “3-D,” understanding how their journey may resemble our own, rather than as a one-dimensional competitor for resources, our ability to empathize multiplies.
  3. Notice what they do well.
    • Hanging out with people at work is easier if we can find something that we appreciate about them. As in a romantic relationship, if we constantly focus on the things that irritate us, we are never going to want to be around them. Although, if we delight in them, they will notice and feel good being around us.
  4. Help them win.
    • When we think about ways to help them get what they want, the law of reciprocity comes into play.

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