You’re surrounded by people anyway, they may as well be the ones that help you fly. It is widely known that you can increase your chances of success by surrounding yourself with people that are better than you. This could be in any area of your life; they could be brighter, more ambitious, more courageous, wealthier, in fact better in any way.
This logic applies equally in the workplace, yet we often find employees being weighed down by the problems and worries of their under-performing counterparts instead of being pulled up by the energy and vibrance of their high performing peers.
As an Employer
If you find yourself in a situation where many employees are selecting their alliances in this way, and you’re doing little or nothing to change the situation, you run a high risk of allowing the formation of a toxic work environment where talent management and employee engagement will suffer and the success of the organisation will be at risk. It is your responsibility to act promptly to move people into a more aspirational space.
Organisational culture, values, leadership, communication and training will all have a role to play in remedying the situation.
As an Employee
From an emotional perspective, people are more inclined to listen to sad stories and want to help people that are suffering. Unfortunately, this good Samaritan approach in the workplace will only lead to self inflicted pain where these sad stories are attached to people who are unambitious, unhappy and stuck in their careers.
As an employee, be wise enough to listen (if you really must), help shift the person into a positive space (if you can), direct them to proper help within the organisation (HR, Managers, Wellness Centre) and then walkaway. You’ve done all you need to, now focus on your personal success, on creating relationships with high performing individuals both within your organisation and externally, and lead yourself into a career where you feel ambitious, happy and challenged.
The bottom line is it is easy to be weighed down by the bottom, but the easy path is probably never the path that leads to success.
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