Is it time to stop pretending?
You can see interesting things in the most unexpected places …
I spent last weekend in Nagambie, Victoria – lucky me … a whole weekend with female friends (and met some new ones, too) and spending time pursuing one of my favourite pastimes: scrapbooking. (For those that are wondering ‘what’s that?’, it’s putting photos in albums with journaling about the people and events, and decorating the pages with colours and different kinds of enhancements. Personally, I find this very therapeutic and relaxing!)
We stayed at a well-run, well-equipped and very clean and comfortable motel. Though it was too cold for a dip, I did wander out to look at the pool – and found this quite out-of-place and obviously very fake palm tree, complete with plastic coconuts.
I certainly respect the fact that the owners were attempting to add some ‘ambience’ to the pool area … yet it got me thinking …
Why do human beings – and businesses – attempt to be something they’re not?
Why does a stay at home mum hesitate to say that she’s not in paid employment, and instead describes herself as a ‘home engineer’ or ‘’domestic manager’? (Mind you, I totally get why women don’t refer to themselves as ‘housewives’ – they’re not married to their houses!)
And why, in their promotional material, does a company refer to themselves as ‘Voted Australia’s #1 XYZ Company’? I mean, who voted? When was the poll? Why didn’t I get a ballot?
I see this so commonly in teams … people pretending all sorts of things …
Pretending they are happy with the boss’s latest decision, while openly complaining about it behind the boss’s back …
Pretending they know things they don’t …
Pretending they don’t know things that they do …
Pretending they don’t care whether they have input as to how they do their job, but secretly wanting more responsibility and autonomy …
Pretending ‘all is forgiven’, when they actually still harbor deep resentments and frustrations about events of the past …
It’s time to STOP pretending!
Only when people are open, honest and transparent can we truly have effective communication, true mutual respect & trust and the ability to work harmoniously together.
Yes – it might be scary. It won’t always be easy, and it certainly won’t be plain sailing each and every day.
But all this pretending is only creating more problems – or at best, sweeping things under a carpet that gets lumpier and bumpier to walk on every day.
Maylene Sutherland says:
17-September-2012 at 3:16 pm
Hi Sandi, Thanks for this blog. Everything you say is true. About 5 years ago I decided that one of the most important things I could do for myself was live as authentically as possible. I work at that everyday. It is not always easy and I'm not even sure it 'works' for me all the time in the sense that sometimes the person you are trying to communicate with isn't ready for the more honest message. Or they are not interested in hearing the message and if that person is your boss it is especially difficult. None of that stops me though and it shouldn’t stop others. I realised that the most important reason I need to be authentic is for me! And if it appears to back-fire, or if it seems to have a negative effect I have at the very least retained my personal internal harmony by being authentic.
The other truth for me is you are always in the right place at the right time whether it feels like it or not. So, even if your honesty or authenticity doesn’t have a more reasonable outcome that you were expecting and doesn’t open up that honest channel of communication you were hoping for you are still where you need to be even if right now you don’t know why. Sometimes that is to save us from ourselves, sometimes because there is another door with a better opportunity is waiting to be opened, sometimes it is just because we are playing a part in somebody else’s life lesson. But if we are honest with ourselves and others by living authentically you are presenting the best ‘you’ to the world and that will also leave you better placed to take advantage of the right opportunities for you when they come along. Thank you Sandi for the reminder on this.
26-September-2012 at 2:04 pm
You have shared some amazing wisdom here Maylene - thank you for taking the time to write this. Let's keep sharing and exchanging ... !
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