All of us know or have known someone within our professional lives that is or has been in a pigeonhole (to be stagnate, with little opportunity or growth in your current career for a long period of time).
They’re OKAY…sometimes even great at what they do, but lack the attitude, skill, will and/or emotional intelligence to change roles and/or go to the next level.
Typically, it’s no secret who this person is; leaders and colleagues are very clear in their assumptions that this someone has no further potential.
Far worse than being in a professional ‘pigeonhole’ is having no clue that you’re the ‘someone’ being referred to…
I don’t know about you…but I’d sure hope that a leader or peer would break the secrecy and tell me if I were that someone!
Oh…but wait…that’s never an easy conversation.
Why drop a bombshell that could potentially explode in your face?
So many things can go wrong…right?
- What if it causes things to get unpleasant?
- What if it ruins the current relationship?
- What if this someone gets angry and just leaves?
- Or…even worse…what if they ask for my help?
Quite frankly, these are not the right questions to ask. There are just too many variables and our subconscious conflict avoider will almost always win this debate.
Instead, ask yourself this:
• Am I kind?
• Do I believe in the behavior of honesty?
• Is respect one of my core values?
For the majority of us, the answers to those questions will provide the strength and courage we’ll need to have the right conversation.
Jack Welsh says it best, “Lack of honesty is disrespectful. Candor is a gift. Have a truthful conversation…the kindest conversation is the truth.”
Oh…and remember this the next time someone has an honest conversation with you…
…that upsets you…
…or is just really hard to believe.
Try seeing it this way…
They want to make sure I don’t get in a pigeonhole.
They respect me and that’s a gift!
Make the wise decision to listen and stay inspired; it’s lifestyle choice!
Related blog post: 13 Tips to Avoid Getting Pigeon-holed in Your Career