Last week, I wrote a really long post about two clients and their corporate stories. They were both separately caught in the crossfire. They worked at two different companies that they ultimately left. And each experienced very unusual and peculiar circumstances. I tried my best to maintain their confidentiality. I changed roles and names; but the stories, I must admit, were a bit crazy. There was no way to shield the bazaar behaviors they encountered.
So, it took me two weeks to decide to stop and not push this. I spent way too long trying to tell this story. I wanted to expose truth and I wanted to help anyone who may be dealing with even a smidgen of the bullying tactics. There was direct bold-faced lying, affairs, and lots of jealousy and anger. (It sounds like something in our normal news cycle these days, doesn’t it?!)
Maybe it’ll show up in my book one day, not in my blog, and not here today.
Why am I telling you this? First, because one of the stories seemed so out of the ordinary, and then there were two. This told me something strange was happening in the workplace, people were treating each very poorly. Secondly, I learned a few insights from working with these two executive clients that might help you at work today.
So, instead of outlining all the crazy-making, I decided to outline a few tidbits you can take with you:
(1) Any trouble you might be dealing with today can go away if you don’t take it personally. Anybody can act any way they want. It doesn’t mean you have to be a part of it. People will try to hook you, but if you don’t take the bait you’ll remain immune. (…but it still might hurt.)
(2) Crazy shit doesn’t happen only at your company, it happens everywhere. If you think jumping ship is your answer, it’s better to know what kind of ship you want to jump into first. Remember, the grass isn’t always greener.
(3) If the way to understand your company’s strategy is to be in the know, then everyone will gossip and maneuver to get in the know. Trust will decline. Leadership communication like this is about conflict avoidance and uncertainty. Real leadership requires fearless, authentic communication.
(4) If someone constantly talks to you about other people, I guarantee they’re talking to other people about you. Positive or negative, they’re still talking.
(5) When you are confronted with behaviors that make you feel like the rug just got pulled out from under you, or like you did something wrong when you didn’t. This isn’t RightLife-making, this is crazy-making. Get as far away from this person as possible.
(6) When top leaders are fired, look closely at what your company has chosen to keep.
(7) Saying you don’t know, is better than pretending you do.
(8) Sometimes your learning curve will be steep, and that’s OK – if you love the learning.
Organizations are rarely simple because they include lots of imperfect human beings. When you learn these tidbits and stay aware of their occurrences around you, you’ll realize that most people are pretty transparent in their behaviors. Decide what game you want to play. You’ll realize when you fuse your behaviors with the way YOU want to show up, you will lead your own life.