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A question I received last week from my podcast listeners, asking: “Payal, if you were to name just one ingredient that would help anyone be successful at their workplace, what would that ingredient be?”

After a lot of thinking and deep reflection on this question, I came to the conclusion that if I Were to name just one ingredient that would help anyone be successful in their workplace, it would be the ability to get along with people -people of any kind.

It was Theodore Roosevelt who said, “the most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

Most of us spend our waking hoursint the work field and we want to build a harmonious relationship with our team, our clients, our management, our boss, and our peers but land up in professional grudges, conflicts with the management, conflicts at the workplace, competitor rivalry or just clashes with the clients.

Leadership is about people.

Now I have always been a people person. And the more I live the more I commit to being a people person. It comes naturally to me. I love people. I love being around people and uplifting them. I love making people successful at what they do.

But I must admit, I am continuously working on developing my people skills.

One evening my client, the VP at a financial company in NY, called me in for an urgent meeting because he had some stakeholder reports due the next day. As I sat on the chair across from his huge cherry oak desk, he ordered coffee for the two of us. We began talking about work. As always, he was complaining about life and the people around him. He made a comment saying to me, ‘you know Payal, I don’t understand why people are so rude to me?’ Just as he completed his sentence the server who was serving us coffee, his hand accidentally hit my client which resulted in the coffee being spilled over my client, staining his light blue polo shirt. My client immediately got upset and spoke a few rude words to the server.

I seized the opportunity and asked him , "Why did you spill the coffee?

“Well because it was an accident by the server, of course!” he said, continuing to be irritated as always. “Wrong answer”, I said with a smile.

“You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea. Whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out.

Therefore, when people come along and shake you and press your buttons,(which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out.” He looked at me with deep introspection.

I urge you, while you're reading this, to take a little pause and ask yourselves, “what’s within me?”

When people at work get tough, what spills over? Is it joy, gratefulness, acceptance, solutions, and humility? Or is it anger, bitterness, harsh words, scarcity, and reactions?

You see, being able to connect well with people of any kind begins with you. It has everything to do with you. They don’t need to change. It’s you need to develop a different approach while dealing with them.

I believe world-class leaders are able to get along with people of any kind. Give them a set of joyous, happy people and they will be comfortable with them. Give them a set of angry, disrespectful people and they will know how to deal with them too. How do they do that? They don’t waste their energy on finding solutions on how to deal with difficult people. They internalize and raise their vibration level.

I hope this helps in your journey. Share + practice + debate this with your teams and tell me your learnings.

Your Friend + Mentor

Payal Nanjiani


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