Work and Personal–A Common Thread

If you attend church you are familiar with the concept of a Sunday Christian. This is a person who acts one way on Sunday and a whole different way during the rest of the week – even varying their behavior based on the group they’re with. There is in essence no common thread to who they are.

A Highly Stressful Way to Live?

Perhaps you have read the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. It is the story of a struggle by one man who seems very good at one time and quite an evil individual at another time. I won’t get into the various interpretations of the book, but merely use it as an illustration of how some live. One moment they are Mr. Nice Guy and the next moment they have a filthy mouth and treat other people as if they were some inferior life form. Where is the common thread of who they are? I cannot help but think one of their biggest fears is being caught by one group of people when they are not being as they usually are with them. This has to create stress as they move from one way of behaving and speaking to another, based on the day of the week and the people surrounding them. They are like the person who tells one lie and then has to perpetuate it with a string of new lies to avoid getting caught.

It’s a Matter of Trust

I realize that we all, to some extent, act this way. However, if we want people to trust us, we must do as much as we can to avoid this inconsistent behavior. Do your employees see you treat the customers like they hung the moon, and then the very next moment turn on an employee and curse them? Do you tell the bank one thing and another thing to your outside CPA firm? I remember asking someone about their annual sales. This individual proceeded to tell me, “I think we did about X amount of sales”, and then in the next breath added, “But, I don’t want my accountant to know that.” Hello, is that someone you would trust? I wouldn’t. This is not consistent with what I consider trustworthy. There is no common thread to who this person really is. Well, actually, the comment about not wanting his accountant to know probably told me who he was at the core.

Be Consistent

Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not talking about letting various aspects of your personality come out at different times. I’m not even referring to the necessity of tailoring your behaviors to communicate your message based on the group. However, if you are not remaining consistent at the core, then you are probably moving into a realm of being disingenuous about presenting the real you. Your private life with your family, your social life, and your work life need a common thread.

Think about it. When people think about you, would they say, “What you see is what you get”, no matter where you are?

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As always, your comments are welcomed.

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