As an Inspirational Coach on matters of business, life, and love, I’m always analyzing what works, and why. For instance, Sandy gets more promotions, makes more money, and seems happier overall than Angie. So why is that?
There are some definable patterns I’ve identified. Though you can’t place everyone in neat little boxes, there’s no question that choice affects consequence — whether the outcome is positive or negative. Let me give you a taste of what I mean.
A blast of wind whipped Angie’s blond strands over her face. “So much for fixing my hair,” she grumbled to the offending gust.
Angie swung the door wide, inhaled one more smoky drag of her cigarette, blowing a dense fog over her shoulder toward an approaching co-worker. She flicked the butt over the can clearly marked, Cigarettes, so it landed on the ground below. She pushed through the employee’s entrance, crinkling her nose as she brushed the magnetic strip on her ID under the time clock. She swallowed down the stale taste of ash and coffee.
“Good morning,” the syrupy sound of Tom’s voice grated Angie’s nerves.
“Says you,” she snapped. Her whole body ached with fatigue. Another late night was taking its toll.
Tom scrunched his lips tight, and walked away, leaving a trail of muffled grumbling in his wake.
Angie glared at his back, and cursed.
A firm, but friendly tone startled her, “Trouble already?”
“It’s nothing, I just don’t feel good,” she half-lied to her manager.
“I’m fine, my back just hurts, and I think I’ve got a migraine coming on.” Angie hoped the exaggerations would cover her angry outburst.
“Can you print me an updated sales report, so I’ll have it before the meeting starts?”
“Sure,” Angie faked a smile.
A few minutes before the meeting’s start time, Angie rounded up a small band of sympathizers. Her laughter echoed down the hall, “I told her to mind her own **!!#^ business.”
“Aren’t you afraid you’ll get fired?”
“They won’t get rid of me. Our manager can’t do anything on her own.”
Peels of laughter were interrupted with a clearing throat, “Angie, can I see you in my office? Now.” Her manager’s flushed neck vibrated from the clenching in her jaw.
Less than thirty minutes later, Angie was escorted out the door.
People around the world play out similar patterns in many different circumstances. Angie’s behavior wasn’t overtly problematic, but the subtleties of her actions aligned to destroy her job, relationships, finances, and other areas of importance in her life. Here are some of the little things that set her apart, in a negative way:
- Angie disregarded others with her selfish and inconsiderate littering. Blowing smoke in the direct path of her co-worker, and throwing her cigarette butt on the ground, versus into the designated can.
- Instead of eating a healthy breakfast, Angie started her day with cigarettes, and too many cups of coffee.
- She stayed up late, racking her body with fatigue, and making her edgy.
- Angie’s ongoing complaints of aches and pains garnered suspicion instead of sympathy.
- Sadly, Angie didn’t realize how transparent her acting was, when she tried to recoup with fake smiles.
- Angie’s need for allies meant she kept others from working, while she built herself up to her audience.
- Her lack of productivity, and two-faced attitude about her own importance, set Angie up for a final failure.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. There are positive choices of conduct we can make, and most often, positive consequences will follow. In my next post, we’ll take a look at how Sandy handles herself differently. As an employer, she’s the kind of person I want to have around, and someone I’d be happy to call a friend. Angie is not someone you’d want to trust.
Anita Fresh Faith
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and author of the soon-to-be released book, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, Toastmasters, a client of WordServe Literary Group, graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries.
Anita’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith. Anita lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.