Grace, you say that all words leave an odor, one that is repulsive or one that carries a sweet fragrance. Both have the ability to change the environment because they linger. Well, isn’t that the truth. The stench in the office sometimes smells really bad. I would be lying if I didn’t tell the truth–I contribute to the odor the words leave behind. Just think, the person who goes around from cubicle to cubicle leaves her sting and we are tired of it. We talk amongst ourselves and know that no matter what this person will not change. Isn’t that contributing? After what you said, I am thinking about the contribution we play in this situation, with our silence or speaking amongst ourselves, and realize that the only person we can change is oneself.
Getting caught up in the everyday activities of work, including the gossip, I forget about some basics lessons I have been taught. I have the power to identify and execute how I want to be in this world—inspiring, empowering, and a contribution–and live it. Many years ago I remember working for a supervisor that was mean to her subordinates, verbally abusive to them. I was frightened to be one of her victims so I left the job. Years later, I realized that I would always encounter people at work that I would not always get along with, for some reason or another. I knew that the answer was not to run away, but to embrace everyone’s personalities and understand work dynamics. If I wanted something changed, I would be the one to change or react differently, in the manner I wanted to be–inspiring, empowering, and a contribution.
Thank you for reminding me of the basics I had long forgotten. I think I’m going to smell sweet fragrances from now on and I don’t mean the sweet fragrances of plum and berries in a glass of Merlot. There is, however, a sweet fragrance in vanilla cream cheese icing on a Red Velvet cupcake. =)
Guiding Lesson: Eve, I love that you want to be inspiring, empowering and a contribution to this world. This is so powerful. Have you ever shared this with your co-workers? What if the people at work took time to think about how they wanted to be in the world? What do you think they would say? Have you ever asked them? This may be a way to shift the conversation from destructive to constructive.
You see the person gossiping is trying to elevate oneself above the one they are talking about. Now, if you start talking to people about your dreams and ideas, while allowing others to share theirs, then the conversation has a different feel. The group now is focused on how to be part of a solution in the world around them versus trying to bring someone down.
Another aspect to consider, if you choose to do this, it is important to have a safe zone. This is a place where your co-workers feel they can express their opinions and they know they will be respected and not judged, criticized or gossiped. This type of environment will breed creativity, increase the energy level and you will all have fun doing it. As I like to say, negativity stifles creativity and creativity inspires endless possibilities.
Looking at your work from this perspective, I see this is the right place for you to inspire, empower and be a contribution. What better place to start than where you are at? You don’t have to wait for the perfect place to shine. It is in the chaotic, messy and sticky places where your vision can come to fruition. It’s time to make a difference, Eve. Are you ready to inspire, empower and be a contribution?