Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mentoring Misery

Sounds like a good title for a murder mystery.

Really, it's about the fad that seems to have taken over offices all over North America: "My job/boss/situation is worse than yours".

When I found myself playing this new game with my mentor - and having had a few weeks of it with mentorees - I shut down for a moment, trying to figure out how it became trendy to one-up each other with stories of misery.

We, men and women (but especially women), are losing any ability we once had to talk proudly and happily about our accomplishments (big/small/personal/professional) without feeling slightly shameful. Worse, it appears to be socially acceptable to compete - yes, compete - for the "most badly treated/unrecognized" prize. We seem to be taken pride in how well we cope with stupidity or unfairness instead of how we create change and positive ripples in our communities.

I would like to receive a phone - or three - this week with someone happy to share their own good news with no qualifying introduction or apology.

Leading in the misery competition is not leadership. Mentoring misery is not looking forward. I resolve to refrain from joining in the chorus of moans, pitching mine as a solo while others take another breath to continue. When I was growing up, my father used to call such situations "p*ssing contests." Well, every time - and I do mean every time - we should be grateful to let someone else win and remember the good things that also flow our way every day.

No comments: