This post is most more personal than usual for me. It might mark the start of a new area that I’ll occasionally include in this blog. We’ll have to see.
As I see things, in this business, sharing what I know ought to be about more than the sum of my successes in 20+ years as a writer and consultant.
I’ve also learned a lot from my mistakes. Often not as quickly as I should have.
Maybe I should share more of those with you (do let me know what you think about that…my email address is in the sidebar).
Deception has taught me the hardest lesson in my professional career.
If you’re lucky, it won’t happen to you often, but eventually you will encounter someone who will do a dishonest thing to you in business that will cut you deeply.
Most people are inherently good. I’m convinced of that. It’s just that when they make mistakes, they have an inner narrative that helps them rationalize why they do what they do. They don’t mean to deceive, they just have different—maybe conflicting—objectives.
But no matter their motives, the outcome is unmistakeable.
Trust can be a blind spot. But trust is also the currency of all good relations. I’m not much use to others if I’m gun-shy and hesitant to trust new people.
In my case, I had to make a decision whether I would let my own bad experience reshape the way I was going to do business with people.
After some thought, I decided to change two things: 1) that I would check my assumptions more often and 2) that I would be more direct than I already am in communicating my feelings and expectations. To do anything other would be wasted time and spirit.
As Joan Gatusso explains in summarizing a key teaching of Zen Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh: “The seeds you may be watering are seeds of being misunderstood, victimhood, judgment and deception, seeds of past hurts and sorrows. If you are, then you need to be watering seeds of kindness, loving action, forgiveness, love and compassion.”
Choosing this path was not easy. Important choices never are.
But I’m a better person from the experience.
Maybe a little wiser, too.