There are times when other people really test your faith in your fellow man or woman. You try and play by the rules of reasonability, good faith and decency only to find that others have been stringing the game along to meet their own agenda and, in hindsight, are not deserving of your trust. The trouble with such scenarios is that the more they happen the more likely you are to think that everyone is being devious and parsimonious with the truth. Before you know it, a jaundiced view pervades your own strategies and the things that normally matter get dampened down.
I’m a firm believer that the best things really get done through good relationships rather than litigation, regulation and excessive rules but often there are people who will take advantage of this and you don’t always see them coming. Unfortunately ‘learning from the past’ gets you operating at the lowest common denominator in order to prevent ever being put in such a scenario again. That means that you may not give someone new the opportunity to operate in a relationship-oriented manner with you, missing the chance to make good things happen.
I don’t have a black and white answer but the older I get the more I think that good people need to stay good and not let the negatives get to them. But I now no longer think that I need to spend my time with those who are only interested in themselves, give them my money or the benefit of my knowledge. I can’t change them and it’s maybe not up to me to try. You might think that this is strange coming from a coach, after all my role is to help people improve. However as a coach I believe change is not something you do to others, they elect to do so themselves, and your role can only be to provide support in some way, if they ask for it.
So moving energies and goodwill elsewhere is not only an act of self -preservation but maybe it ensures that positives go where they will do some good, be appreciated or are truly warranted.