We All Need the Same Basic Things
Having a ‘mixed bag’ of a career has been one of my greatest blessings in life. I taught eight-, nine-, and ten-year-olds for more than a decade and then spent the same amount of time with adults working in the legal industry in corporate America. I’m often asked by new acquaintances how I could have succeeded in two such different roles. They’re surprised to hear how very similar those roles actually were.
We know kids need guidance. They need support. They need role models, coaches, and people they can count on no matter what the circumstance. They need someone to root them on to do better and be better—every.single.day.
What Do Adults Need?
Now remove the word ‘kids’, and change it to ‘adults’. The reality is we need all those same things. We need to know we belong and are doing a good job. We need to know that what we do matters. We need leaders who show us through their words and actions what it means to lead with dignity and respect in order to have a positive impact on others.
And yet sadly, in many workplaces the culture is anything but what we need. The backbiting, the gossiping, the negativity many of us experience every day is exhausting… and childish. The question is what can we do about it? Can we turn it all around so the climate is positive and encouraging and uplifting? For many people, that seems like an uphill climb, a task far too great for one person to accomplish.
What is within MY control?
To overcome that feeling of overwhelm, ask yourself one simple question, “What is within MY control?” Can you speak to others in a more respectful tone? Can you apologize to someone you offended or slighted in some way? Can you refuse to take part in the gossip gab groups? Can you allow yourself your own little time-out to give yourself some down time rather than immediately saying what comes to mind during a disagreement? What part do you play in improving your environment, and what small steps can you take today to begin to make that happen?
The greatest blessing of teaching kids and working with adults in corporate America? Realizing we’re all looking for the same things and being able to show (most of the time—I’m human, too!), through my words and actions, how to achieve them.
This article by Tracy Bianco first appeared on LinkedIn.