One of my mentors once said to me: “If I lie for you, I will lie about you and I will lie to you, if I steal for you, I will steal from you”. He reminded me to think about these things when speaking to people and interacting with them. Pay even more attention when they are those who are close to you.
You might be asking what does this have to do with “showing up?” How does it relate to this series? Well, the kind of people we are sometimes hides associates. Think about how many times you have been in a meeting, facilitated a meeting or attended a conference or gathering of any kind. Whether it is a work function or personal, there are always those “busy bodies” who have something to say about everyone. Yes! They know all the water cooler talk. They always seem to gravitate to you with some new and interesting. The first mistake you make is giving them an audience. Think about it. What are they saying to others about you? Part of who you are and how you show up definitely plays to these peoples less nobler motives. They feel it is ok to waste your time and energy with nonsense.
When you are interacting with your co-workers or acquaintances, it is up to you to teach them how to present. I call these people “fire starters.” If you stop the gossip in its tracks by not giving it the attention it seeks, then it stops with you. It should never be part of your character and we should never be seen as the “manager” or person who gives an ear to whispering, hearsay, or malicious talk. Here are three things that will aid us in honing our interactive skills so that we present our best selves:
- We teach people how to treat, behave, respect or disrespect us by how we carry ourselves. If you believe you can make a difference, you will. If you take control of your space and what conversations you are exposed to many will think twice before entering your path with anything other than something wholesome or positive. If you correct the conversation of a gossiper, and they react poorly or move away from your circle, allow them to. Keep in mind that all fires need oxygen to survive!
- Do you want to be the person or leader who governs a kingdom of compliance or the person or leader who shares a kingdom of cooperation and has reverential respect of peers and colleagues? The latter is a more powerful and effective form of leadership that we should all aim for.
- Practice full engagement, be authentic and honest with yourself and others. By managing your energy, not your time, you will improve your performance and see it reflect in a positive way in your personal life while watching your professional life transform. When you are fully engaged you draw on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy that will enable you to avoid gossip pit falls. As in The Power of Full Engagement; by Jim Loer, You will easily move from the person people avoid to the one they gravitate to for guidance and creative energy. Set your intent, be clear about it and see it through to fruition.
In the coming weeks we will wrap up our three part series with “Nasty People”. How to identify them and how to avoid becoming one of them.