Paul Stevens opening comments in his ‘conversation’ with co-author, Alvin Lung, will resonate with many observers of workplace behaviour:
“Pride makes you boast about being a self-made person.? When things go well, you think you’re the only one who did it. When things go bad, it’s someone else’s fault.? You make extravagant promises? But when thing spiral out of control, you shift the blame elsewhere.? You sincerely can’t believe that all these people failed you.? This happens at work all the time …’ (p.15)
Ouch!? Did any of those comments resonate with you?? They sure did for me – both in terms of what I have seen around me as well as my own responses at various times in my working life.? While pride is a trap for anyone, those experiencing apparent success within the corporate world need to be especially careful – success itself can be very seductive.
That is why the three suggested exercises (p.20), are so helpful for those who struggle with pride:
- Restrain your speech – ‘practice verbal restraint by being an intentional listener during lunch conversations for a week … stop gossip or unprofitable talk.’
- Become a servant – take the opportunity to do the menial jobs (in secret) for a week.? Do your own photcopying, wash up the kitchen dishes, clean up after the team, be the last to leave a function and help with the cleaning up.
- Practice radical self-honesty – think about habitual behaviours such as irritability, perfectionism?or intolerance of others’ mistakes.? These are indicators of pride? – share with a trusted confidant and pray through these?deep-seated issues.
Next time: Joy: More than Happiness at Work (Chapter 10)
Stevens, R. P., and Ung, A. (2010). Taking Your Soul to Work: overcoming the nine deadly sins of the workplace. ?Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eerdmans
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