11 May Manage your enemies?
“Manage your enemies.” A horrified friend forwarded me an invitation to a webinar that promised exactly that. Both of us were nearly speechless. Nearly.
Manage Your Enemies. That bald statement led me for a moment to consider a question I’ve never asked myself: do I have enemies?
Something my friend Patrick said answers these questions in an odd way. With his trademark sincerity he remarked, “I’ve observed some people are not self-aware.”
That. Is. True.
Mostly, however, we are just not aware.
But for Pete’s sake – we don’t have enemies.
We do, however, have foils. These are the people who trigger, tweak, and distract us. A foil puts our best qualities and our most embarrassing qualities in stark relief. Usually at the same time.
Yeah. That’s by design.
Even at work.
Correction: especially at work. I’ll push this to the edge and say that the universe sends these people to torment us. And that’s pretty funny…. Eventually.
Because we are just not very aware.
We need other people for that.
And calling a person who is not an enemy but is making your work life very difficult “a foil?” That’s Ninja-level awareness, which leads to Jedi-level self-awareness. OK, maybe Jedi-in-training. Regardless, it’s so good I can hardly stand it.
No, we don’t have enemies. We just have foils. We might even be someone’s foil.
And even if we’re certain we can’t work with our foils, I can say with complete confidence, they’re always working on us.
I help people re-wire, re-think, and even work with foils.
(My brother calls me a workshrink.)
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