Catching Flies

There is an old saying  I always liked that my grandmother used, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”. A lot is summed up in those few words that leaders can use and remember.

I know that your workplace can be politically charged, even ugly sometimes. I know that you sometimes feel you have been purposely deceived or cheated. No matter who is causing you frustration or anger – use honey to address it instead of vinegar.

When you feel that flash of anger coming on, stop. Pause and ask yourself:

  • Is it possible that I might be seeing this situation incorrectly?
  • Was what I experienced what was intended by the other person? Was it really personal?
  • How can I address this situation with kindness?
  • What do I need to understand from the other person’s standpoint?

Step into the conversation with the person you feel deceived or hurt you – but use kindness (honey) in your conversation instead of anger (vinegar). You just may catch an ally, supporter, or friend (flies).

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Mary Jo Asmus is the founder and President of Aspire Collaborative Services LLC, an executive coach, writer, internationally recognized thought leader, and a consultant who partners with organizations of all kinds to develop and administer coaching programs. She has “walked in your shoes” as a former leader in a Fortune company.


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