Getting along

So, some new year’s resolutions have come and gone, and my last two meetings got punctuated with honest thoughts and considerations about “others”. And when I say “others”, I mean “some people one could easily (and somewhat happily) live and work without”. Sounds negative? I first thought so, and remembered the adults in my childhood sometimes giving up and saying: “can’t you all just get along and stop arguing already?” I grew up around a mix of people, coming from very diverse backgrounds and we were all pretty sure about how right we thought we were when defending made-up theories. In these situations, getting along was not a priority, not even a concept.

Thor @ TPE

Photo credit © OFL – “Thor @ TPE”

Now grown up, I get it: getting along is indeed conceivable, and the ones with good intentions usually manage to create harmony in their life and work environments. It does work fine, as long as all individuals involved intend to remain tolerant, listening, constructive and … forgiving, maybe? That sounds all very positive and sympathetic until one loses it and, as heard again in a recent meeting, “blows a gasket”. Then the idea of getting along is just that: an idea, often reminded by someone without any direct relationship, or understanding, of the circumstances (so would say the one losing his/her temper).

As a grown up, I certainly do not want to burn bridges: what for, really? To spend my own energy on something which, or someone who, has a limited impact on my personal and professional growth, if at all: no, thank you. The two episodes mentioned in my meetings were clear, and coming from other international consultants who have been in business for over 30 years each: they simply chose to stop responding to the ones wanting to always be right, sometimes for the sake of being right, somehow proving that everybody else was wrong. Maybe it is with age that they have reached peace with themselves, accepting and deciding that they just could not get along with everybody around, and it is all fine.

Specialists and other researchers will likely have deeper theories on the topic. All I can see is that these consultants are moving on nicely with their projects, intentionally focusing on what really matters, and deflecting any emotional distraction from their objectives. They are not avoiding them, they are only following their own path, keeping in mind their clients and their professional and life purpose. No acting, just keeping a balance at aligning to and aiming for what makes sense and what the big picture looks like… And getting along with the egoless ones. That is inspiring, and could almost convince me to write down some resolutions. Who is in?