One way you can get out of your way is to name your gremlin. A gremlin in this sense is a self-defeating behavior that reappears in life, work, and relationships that prevents you from achieving a new level of success. Like in the movie by the same name, gremlins usually are latent and easy to live with until they are activated by external or internal factors, either past, present, or perceived future. Naming them can help you to be aware of your self-defeating behavior so you may make intentional decisions that are edifying and rewarding to all involved. The introductory article to this series is at Get Out of Your Own Way.
One of the under celebrated characters of the famous Peanuts cartoon is Pigpen, and for good reason. Whenever you see him there is always a dust cloud around him. It is likely that you know someone with a pigpen gremlin and it can be difficult to work with them. People with the pigpen gremlin possess two primary problems:
- They can be productive but even then they stir up everything in the work place leaving the mess for others to clean up.
- The big challenge for pigpen gremlins is that as messy as they are with materials, they stir up more dust in relationships.
The good thing is that leaders with the pigpen gremlin are intensely focused on the goal and they assume others are as well. The problem is that they hurt feelings of others along the way. If you work with someone like that and have not received a “dusting”—just wait a while.
If you suspect you possess a pigpen gremlin, what might you do to improve not only your behavior but your reputation and relationships as well? Here are several steps:
- Cultivate self awareness.
- Practice relational road crossing. Remember when you were taught how to cross the road as a child? The instructions probably included three words—look, listen, and feel. Applied to relationships it means to figuratively stand back and look, listen, and feel during interaction with others.
- Be quick to apologize and fix hurt feelings.
- Since you have a tendency to unknowingly offend people, invest in relationships on a regular basis to minimize relational bankruptcy situations.
- Discipline yourself to do some cleaning up. Put material things where they belong a little every day.
- Don’t use Pigpen as an excuse for bad behavior.
A Christian life coach can be a valuable asset to help you minimize damage to relationships and is well worth the investment.
Do you know someone with the pigpen gremlin? What will you do to improve the relationship and even help them? Did you discover that you possess the pigpen gremlin?” What is your action plan to keep Pigpen in check?
Simple Discipleship Blessings,
Dr. Tom Cocklereece, The Disciplist
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This article is a revision of a previous post on my coaching blog site RENOVA Coaching
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