38. For goodness sake stand up Blog POD Consulting Auckland Wellington HR Recruitment Coaching min - For goodness sake, stand up!

Author POD
09/08/13

For goodness sake, stand up!

What is it with us? Why are we so frightened of stuff?

Honestly, why do we care whether we look like dicks in front of people? Our fear holds us back from having the cool, satisfying, adventurous life that we were designed for.

I watched an interesting exercise in human nature unfold on Friday night. I was flying from Auckland back to Wellington after a couple of day’s doing business. After getting the call to board the flight I wandered around the corner from the Koru lounge to the gate. Soon I realised that the plane wasn’t going anywhere quickly. A massive line of people waited at the correct gate. Problem was there was nobody there from the airline to take the boarding passes.

OK, no big deal. Everyone just stayed in the line and waited. Soon it became clear that we weren’t going to be boarding anytime soon and so I sat down and cleared a few emails. Most people though, the good sensible people that they are, all continued to stand in the line – waiting.

Given I clearly wasn’t going anywhere either I just sat and watched humanity. Agitation was starting to creep in. It was Friday night and these line dwellers were keen to quit the working week. Graham Norton would be on later and a glass of wine and pizza probably awaited them at home. OK, time to get this plane on the road people (or maybe the runway)!

Then progress. The airline lady suddenly appeared and she shuffled through some papers at the counter. Everyone looked at her. She shuffled some more. People moved from foot to foot all staring intently at the lovely lady with all the power. Never once breaking the line.  They watched her. They watched her some more. Men checked their phones for messages. Women checked their phones for messages. All pretended to be busy while secretly they just wanted progress up at the counter. Something, a sign, an intercom message… “Please lady help us here.”

For what seemed like an eternity they watched and they waited. Finally we had action. Someone broke the line and went to the counter and asked the question? “What’s happening”? The brave, brave man (imagine having the guts to ask someone a question in front of others) and the airline lady had their conversation. But to add to the torment they were out of earshot to the hundred poor souls waiting for progress.

But wait… the man turned and headed back to his people. The queue longed for news from the front line. “What awaits us”? “What news do you bring back”? “There’s a problem”, he said. People craned their necks as he shared his newfound knowledge to his travel companion. Their lives hung in the balance with his every word. The tension was palpable.  They couldn’t hear him though, so they would just need to wait and look to the front again.

And all the while I sat their somewhat shaking my head thinking “I can’t believe this. People are such scaredy cats”. And it made me think. Why do we fear what other people think? Why do we hold ourselves back from throwing caution to the wind and just getting on with stuff?

This is just one ridiculously simple example of how we all follow. How we all like to stay inside our comfort zones and not risk looking like a dick. Have a think about how living like that may be holding you back in your own life. As you know at RightWay we like to help our customers run better businesses. Think about how your attitude to doing stuff that scares you (or better still not doing stuff that scares you) holds you back from making your business a success.

Ponder that this week…

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