Not long ago I got into a disagreement with my good friend Katarzyna. Actually it wasn’t really a disagreement: I was just an idiot. At some point I had enough sense to reach out and apologize and, luckily for me, she has enough grace to accept that and forgive me.
So it goes.
In the world of work and professional relationships why is it we are sometimes hardest on those we like most?
Much like with our family and friends we sometimes test the strength of the professional relationships that matter most by pushing too hard. You know the feeling:
- I’ll call her back later: she’ll understand
- He knows this is just the way I am!
- I shouldn’t have to check in with you – you should have my back!
We experience variations on this theme over and over, and yet we continue to press the boundaries. But unlike our friends and most certainly our family our professional colleagues may not have an everlasting well of forgiveness. At times, our peers simply write us off deciding not only who to keep in their lives, but whom to let go.
So as the summer with its languorous sensations kick in, and ultimately the fall holidays before the end-of-year breaks, this might be a good time to reexamine your professional relationships and ask yourself a few key questions.
- Do the people you value know that? Do you tell them why?
- Do you give more than receive?
- Are you open and flexible willing to consider someone else just might be right – and their difference with you is all about helping you – not “being right?”
There are many questions to ask but one thing remains constant. Over the arc of a career you will only meet so many influential and impactful people, and people are the greatest gift in life.
Are you treating them like that?