Man, it’s been a crazy week. I landed a few hours ago from an out of town meeting. A very intense one. Imagine sitting in a conference room with the most diverse personalities, each trying to speak louder than the other. But then again, it’s nothing new. Given the job I have, every day is a lesson in human nature. In the ever-competitive world of corporate culture, every single company in America is undergoing its own version of a “transformation”. The human aspect of this process is unnerving. It makes people nervous about their jobs, it makes them compete, throw colleagues under the bus, fosters an “every man for himself” kind of mentality. The unknown makes people very uncomfortable. Insecurity rules one’s actions, and there’s nothing pretty about it.
Despite how much effort you place in your relationships, people are still people. Sometimes it becomes so discouraging, the way people react to situations – that you want to throw in the towel and stop trying. If you’re like me and it’s a function of your job, then you’re stuck with it. But what about your personal dealings, the ones you have when you’re not at the office. People are still people then, and so the selfishness, the fear, the competition – they still exist. Social media is teeming with these sorts of people. There are ones that only care about selling themselves, there are others who are too open, too dramatic, too negative. There are also ones who don’t care. And they have to tell the whole world about it.
But all this competitiveness is rooted in uncertainty, I’ve learned to combat it with knowledge and information. Sharing as much as I can honestly and truthfully helps build trust among people. They learn to trust you, they bank on your integrity. When you assure people about things, they listen to you, calm down because they know you will never lead them astray. Compassion and kindness, understanding the person for more than his/her words and actions, goes a long way. Most of the time, the people who scream the loudest are the ones who don’t even understand what the issue is about. This attitude, their words are all a defense against the fear and loneliness they feel inside. When you look at it with genuine empathy, you will find the good instead of the bad.
Actions speak louder than words.
You’ve heard that saying before, right? If everyone at that meeting I told you about, just stopped talking and started acting, it would have saved me time and money from making that trip. And my sanity.
We breeze through life sometimes without taking a step back to recognize our own frailties, our own motivations. The truth of the matter, is that we learn more about ourselves through our dealings with others. You set standards for yourself and choose who you want and don’t want to associate with. Taking the time to understand why people are people opens you up to tolerance and understanding. Knowing that your actions have spoken for you, that your history has defined who you are as a person, should be comforting. There’s just no need to claw your way out of ordinariness.
Lately, I’ve been reminding myself of the same things.
Let your patience, compassion, understanding and kindness speak for you.
People will see you through what you do.
So just do, will you?