There is something important about having a connection with whom we work. A job can be a hard thing, a struggle – even if we love it. A challenging career makes us think, to take action. This exacts a toll on our vitality and our energy. Even if we are used to it, it drains us and there must be a period of restoration. Stephen Covey talked about ‘sharpening the saw.’ Friends and positive co-workers are a part of that rejuvenation.
We need people around us that will buoy us and carry us through the hard times. There is a reason countless books have been written (not to mention the advice of success coaches) which state the importance of avoiding energy vampires. In addition to physical energy, there is intellectual, emotional, and spiritual energy. As we become comfortable using these energies, we develop reservoirs within ourselves. The more competence we have in negotiating life’s challenges, the greater our reserves become. Even so, there are situations and people that drain those reserves and make it difficult to complete our tasks.
And although there are those who claim that energy vampires do not exist, they do. I am grateful for that knowledge. There are so many obstacles in our daily life that sap our vitality, but we must face those events with courage and strength. The knowledge of energy-draining vampires allows me to minimize the damage that they may cause. It reminds me of that old saying “forwarned is forearmed.” I can construct my defenses and safeguards – to protect my heart and my soul from those that would rob me of my power.
That brings me to my original point. Having friendships with those with whom we work is a joy and preserves our energy for the trials that consume us. Unfortunately, we can’t always choose those around us. We have to work alongside the people that we have been placed with. That means handling troublesome egos and personalities. Unlike a social situation where a person can be cordial until they can slip away, if we find ourselves in poor company, a friction-prone associate may be around for months, if not years.
It is true that there is much of this to be grateful for – relationships earned are more valued than relationships assumed. I am grateful for co-workers that I haven’t gotten along with because it forced me to analyze myself, my motives, and my values. My conflicts often stem from some unresolved issue within my own heart.
I think the rarest of all situations is to be part of a company or a job where everyone meshes and where everyone is considerate of one another. It’s not about everyone being in lockstep or sharing the same ideology or where everyone snugly fits within the group culture. It’s more of joining together and supporting one another. Too much of the world is focused on blaming and accusing and complaining – these attitudes and behaviors are vampric and self-destructive. It’s only when we are committed to being our best selves and helping those around us do the same – no matter what the outcome – that we truly open our hearts to one another. I think that is key to having the truest form of relationships.
- Get clarity on why you want to have honest relationships.
- Look for two ways that you can improve one of your relationships today.
- Serve someone you know only peripherally with no intention to get something in return. Do it in a way that keeps the service anonymous.