If you know anything about basketball, you know that one of the leading scorers in the game with 27,521 points is LeBron James. He has made headlines for numerous things. He spent 41 million dollars sending kids to college; he started a foundation that supports after school extracurricular; he has donated to several charities, he’s won several NBA Championships, and is currently in the playoffs as I write this. Despite all of that, critics still question his commitment, his ability, his leadership, his loyalty, his delivery and his brand.
Embrace your imperfections and keep it moving. Once you have embraced the things that are not perfect about you, no one can use them against you.
No matter how personable you are, there will always be someone who doesn’t like you and tries to minimize your accomplishments. I remember a couple of years back; I worked for an organization in a managerial capacity. There was this associate who gave me the blues. I mean the B.B. King blues. One week I was too young to be a manager, the next week I was not qualified, the following, I only had the job because my boss was my friend and when I tell you this list could go on, please believe me. This behavior disturbed me because I found myself always defending myself and my brand. The work I had done was being overshadowed by all of this negative attention. However, I needed to experience her disdain toward me because it taught me a few things:
- There will always be someone who questions your ability to do your job
- There will always be someone who thinks they can do it better than you
- There will always someone who does not respect you or the value that you add
- And there will ALWAYS and I do mean ALWAYS be someone who for no rhyme or reason doesn’t like you.
While I’m no LeBron James, there are some important lessons to be learned:
- Accept – accept that everyone will not like you, and that’s okay. Your job is not to convince them why they should. Like LeBron, you should continue driving down the court without any regard to the naysayers.
2. Embrace– Embrace your imperfections and keep it moving. Once you have embraced the things that are not perfect about you, no one can use them against you.
3. Refuse– Refuse to participate in the negative behavior. There is an old saying that arguing with fools will prove that there are two. (Now while I don’t particularly like the language here) It’s true. Refuse to engage. No matter how strong you think your clapback game is, just refuse.
4. Refocus– Refocus your energy on the value that you add and remember whose opinion is important. Your bosses have you in the position you are in for a reason. It does not matter the reasons others think you are not qualified. What other’s think of your qualifications is none of your business.
5. Reset– I’ve mentioned this technique before but it is key. When you are working with someone you don’t particularly like or who doesn’t like you, you must reset. You cannot approach each working opportunity; thinking about all the reasons why working with this individual is difficult. You have to wipe the slate clean each time. Resetting will minimize your frustration and allow you to get more done.
6. Persevere– Despite the critics, LeBron has continued to persevere. He has stayed the course regardless of the naysayers. He was so dedicated; he led his team to 3 NBA Championships. I’m not saying that it will be easy and you won’t get distracted but you will never win the championship if you don’t persevere and remain resilient while in the game.
Before I Go: Is this the first time we’ve met? If so, thanks for reading this article and I’d love to connect! I’m Cari Hawthorne, an Army veteran and HR professional who enjoys everything about helping others with their careers. How do you deal with difficult people in the workplace? How do you stay focused when others are trying to ruin your brand? I’d love to hear from you.