Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What goes around comes around -- does it really?

While consulting with a team, a long term employee made a loudly announced statement “what goes around comes around”, it was my belief that she meant something like “buddy has been a jerk and treats us poorly. In time he’ll get his.”

The challenge with this thinking is it does not help you bounce forward and be resilient; in fact, it often causes us to stay in the problem instead of the solution. People who wait for the person to “get what was coming to them” often wait a lifetime, or if this actually occurs, it does not produce the results that were anticipated. This thinking brings about an expectation that someone will recognize when the shoe is on the other foot. Essentially the expectation is that the individual will somehow mind read or read between the lines and make miraculous changes when they are treated in a way that they treated someone else.

I have met many people who treat people poorly, and when the shoe is on the other foot they lash out to blame, wonder what happened, and continue with the same behavior they always did. What can be more helpful is to bring forth the concern to the individual, and give that individual the opportunity to make change.

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