Friday, June 1, 2007

What can you do behind someone's back?

I had a very weird experience earlier this week that I’ll share with you today instead of moving on to tip 7 in the secrets series (don’t worry we’ll get back onto that next week!)

On Monday I drove for about 2 hours to do a 3 hour training workshop. As I do before any session I spent that driving time getting in the right state of mind. It doesn’t matter whether my audience is 2,000 people or 10 (as this group was) the preparation is the same. I listen to the right music, I’ll listen to some business interviews or a CD from Rick DeLuca at and I’ll rehearse what I’m going to say as I drive to my destination.

I arrived at the location with my head in the right state of mind, I was ready to go and ready to wow! I went upstairs and introduced myself to the new receptionist at this training location and as I did so one of the other staff came out into the reception area. She saw I was introducing myself and said to the new receptionist (and to me) – “Oh this is Kirsty, you’ll hear lots about Kirsty.”

I smiled to myself and thought, what a nice thing to say. It was then that the smile sort of faded from my face because she continued speaking and the entire passage went something like this:

“Oh this is Kirsty, you’ll hear lots about Kirsty…. I wouldn’t say people don’t like her, but there are a lot of other people who aren’t very happy at the money she’s made in the industry when they’ve been in it longer.” This isn’t a verbatim quote obviously because my word for word memory suffers a little my jaw is on the ground but you get the point… the words “I wouldn’t say people don’t like her… but” definitely stick in my mind!

Tall poppy syndrome is what we call this in Australia and unfortunately it’s prevalent. I know I used to find myself doing it when I was younger – disliking someone for whatever reason without really knowing them or their story.

This obviously isn’t the first time I’ve come across it, but wow – the way this one was presented to me was certainly a first!

I could have taken this a number of ways, but firstly I decided to go downstairs and give the best presentation I could to the room of my colleagues who had been waiting downstairs. It was a fabulous session and they were one of the best groups I’ve ever shared an afternoon with.

Secondly, I had to realise that there are only two ways I’ll ever be able to stop these sorts of comments being made about me:

1. Do nothing, be nothing, accomplish nothing. No thanks!
2. Do my best, strive to set an example and share what I’ve learnt so that others can achieve their own dreams and goals. This way may never stop all these sorts of comments – but it’s my preferred option for sure!

I’ll leave you with a little thought a mentor of mine once said to me… Never say anything behind someone’s back you wouldn’t say to their face, and always remember the best thing you can do behind someone’s back is to pat it!

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments


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