The Right People
Have you ever been on a team, or in a group where the mood is one way until that one person enters the room? That one person can either brighten the mood or really take it down. I led a team once with a great group of people. We all worked hard, and we enjoyed each other’s company; our meetings were a mixture of fun, laughter and talk about personal lives as well as business. There was one person on the team however, who’s presence took away the laughter. When she was in the room the mood dropped severely. There were 10 of us in total and the 9 others could not bring the mood up when she was there. If she was in the room, it was all business. I was the leader of that team and no matter how hard I tried, if she was in the room no one would discuss anything other than work. Her mere presence changed everything.
I have also seen the opposite. When that one person just brightens the space. Everyone is that much happier when they arrive.
For the Managers and Supervisors reading this blog post, make sure you choose your team wisely. A person’s attitude and culture fit with the group is more important than their skills. If you have a person with great skills but they make the team miserable, it’s better to have them move on. You are losing money in the long run, because it will affect the production of the other staff, who do not enjoy being around them.
This lesson works in life as well. Who do you surround yourself with in your day-to-day life? Pay attention to whether you feel better or worse when they arrive and/or leave. If you are more relieved when they go, then you may want to choose some new friends. The same rule of thumb applies to our more virtual friends and associates. All of us spend a considerable amount of time online these days, and some of those virtual connections can be just as toxic as those in our day-to-day lives. Who we surround ourselves with affects us more than you may realize.
I am reminded of an amazing group of women I recently connected with. Women I had been chatting with for months online but hadn’t yet met in person, until we attended a conference together in Portland. These are women who don’t judge, but also don’t sign up for any bullshit. When I was struggling with something they held the mirror and showed me love while I was working through the issue at hand. Being surrounded by that kind of love is amazing. I got to be held in a loving space by these women and also got to watch them all do something amazing on stage. Each in their own way, had a huge moment of growth and bravely shared it with a room full of people, and the online world, as the event was live streamed over the internet.
Part of what I shared on stage in Portland was how I am everyone’s rock. I have always been the strong one and no one really knows how to pick me up when I am down. I have even lost friends in my lowest moments because they had no idea what to do with me. I have been lucky my whole life that my parents have stuck close to me (well, they didn’t move so I stuck close to them). They have been my strength, and they have been there to pick me up when I am down. My speech had been thrown out and this was something that just came to me when I was up on the stage. It was an interesting moment to have that realization, and it was difficult to speak the words without crying. The reality of the situation is that I don’t allow people to help me, and because I let no one help with the small things, when the big things come, they don’t know what to do. That last part was a realization that came to me after I was off stage and did some reflecting.
Luckily, I have an amazing group of people to share with and who want to hear me and cheer me on, all while sharing their transformations as well. I think that without them I may have slipped back into old habits. I have been realizing as well that I have always had those friends here in my hometown, but like so many people, we have just gotten busy with life and don’t always see each other as much as we’d like to. I realize that it’s partly me allowing life to take over, when what I need is to be more aware of how I spend my time, and make sure I’m choosing rather than reacting.
Who do you surround yourself with? Will they be there to lift you up when you fall? If not, think about why not – are you allowing them to? Can they? Do you need a new circle, or do you just need to allow yourself to be carried sometimes?