Ode to a Peacemaker
A treasured mentor and fellow Sorority member passed away last week. She meant many things to many people in Philadelphia. To me, she was an exemplar; someone who had the uncanny ability to always know what to say and how to respond – even in the throes of conflict. For more than 50 years, this Peacemaker dedicated her life and wisdom to bettering the community in which she lived.
The reason I am writing about The Peacemaker on Ask The Strategist is that the lessons she taught me, and indeed, all she touched, are also germane to the principles of business. There are three that should become mainstays:
1. Hold your tongue: Before launching into action, and in the process saying things that may be regretted later, The Peacemaker always quietly reflected on the situation before saying anything. Most often, she did not say anything at all, wisely waiting to gauge the barometer and addressing concerns only when, and if, necessary. In business, we sometimes have a tendency to become defensive, often speaking before assessing the situation, and ultimately say things that may come back to haunt us – with coworkers and clients.
2. Hold others in high esteem: It is so easy to criticize and make suppositions when it comes to others. We may feel that the way they think is wrong, or that they are clueless in their actions. The Peacemaker always held others in high regard, even if she did not agree with them. She saw the best in others. You have undoubtedly heard about Jaheel Robinson, who was fired from his job at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles yesterday, for complaining about customers and his employer via Twitter. He may have benefitted from The Peacemaker’s modus operandi on dealing with others before blasting them on social media sites.
3. Make Peace, Not War: I have witnessed The Peacemaker step in and create peaceful harmony in the community, when folks were at odds. Reaching out personally to everyone, whether they were involved or not, created such an air of camaraderie and widespread introspection that her actions inevitably led to a peaceable outcome. In the workplace, we can each be a peacemaker and inspire calm during intensive situations. Everyone has a part to play in creating a great environment in which we can work, play, and create.
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