My friend, Jason Seiden, is a good man.
He recently said, “In 2016, I’m finding that if something in my life doesn’t fit a little bit, it doesn’t fit at all.”
In 2016, I’m finding that if something in my life doesn’t fit a little bit, it doesn’t fit at all.
— Jason (@Seiden) June 10, 2016
His words stopped me right in my tracks.
As an HR professional, I was taught that compromise is king. It’s an anathema to have your cake and eat it, too. If two employees walk away from a confrontation feeling equally dissatisfied with HR’s response, that’s a win.
Me? I’m over compromise. I’m sick of trying to make things work. While adults have to adapt our behaviors to fit social norms, we don’t have to drop our standards.
And far too many of us lower our standards. At work. In human resources. In our personal lives. That’s a failed state.
So, I’ve been telling my HR and marketing clients to start figuring out who they are and what makes them happy. And if something in their lives doesn’t fit a little bit, it doesn’t fit at all.
Does that seem reactionary? Well, cmon, I’m not telling anybody to be a jerk. And I’m a dreamer, too. Circumstances change. You should be open to possibilities. But I would like you to listen to your instincts a bit more. Be willing to take a stand.
And stop trying to make “fetch” happen. It’s not going to happen. Not even a little bit.
Here’s what I know: In the process of trying to make things fit when they obviously don’t work, you’re miserable. And you are modeling the wrong behaviors for your organization. If your mind is on compromise, it’s not on succeeding.
You deserve to be successful. At the very least, you deserve to walk away from people or situations that don’t align with your mission, vision or values. That’s what healthy people do. That’s what your CEO would do.
Please don’t be an abrasive jerk, but start to examine the minor irritations in your world. Find something that’s not fitting in your personal or professional life a little bit and get rid of it. Right now.
Take the first step at engineering healthy boundaries. Set in motion a series of behaviors that might help you at work — and will absolutely help in your personal life.
Laurie Ruettimann is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur based in Raleigh, NC. She’s working on her next book about fixing work due out in 2020.