One of Maya Angelou’s greatest quotes is “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” I try to keep this in mind when I interact with someone, personally or professionally.
We are surrounded by people of different backgrounds, beliefs, cultures, attitudes and values. That’s what makes this world fascinating. When we meet people, we expect them to conform to our beliefs and values. While this is convenient, it’s not the case nor should it be.
I tend to have high expectations of people, just as I have for myself. In all of my relationships – personal and professional, I value honesty, professionalism and courtesy. I try to build a circle of people around me that share those same values. When I do, those relationships purr, like a well oiled machine. Trust comes easy, as I rarely have to question their motives.
There are occasions when I have relationships with individuals whose values are not aligned with mine. Those relationships are rocky and not as productive. I still, however, place a value on those relationships and learn what I can from them. I also manage my expectations of that person. When our differences are magnified, I respect and accept them for who they are and decide if the relationship is worth me compromising. In most cases, it is not. I walk away with no guilt, disappointment or hurt. That’s called wisdom.