Today’s tip …. something you probably heard a million times growing up, two million times in Church, and three million times in school “Always play nice”.
Now, I know that there is a serious school of thought regarding nice guys finishing last, etc, but at least in genealogy, if you play nice, the benefits FAR exceed those you get if you don’t.
Throughout my life I have dealt with a lot of nice folks and a lot of SOBs. Learned a lot from both groups actually. I learned that I really much preferred to be around nice folks. I enjoyed them, learned better from them, and took more to heart for my own life from them. Now, I will say that I also learned a significant amount from the SOBs too. Often it was what I did not ever want to do in my life, how I did not want to manage or treat people, how I did not want to sacrifice certainly beliefs and values for fame, fortune, or ego.
Granted, I also learned some valuable lessons. There was the time when I was making my very first presentation at a new job. In front of about 150 colleagues, bosses, etc. On my first overhead slide (yep, I am that old) I had this sentence: “We can begin training which should serve us well.” In the darkness I heard the VP of my division yell out “Turn on the damn lights. Phillips shut up! Stop the presentation right now'”
He went on to say “Do you NOT know that when ever you use the word ‘which’, it has to be preceded by a comma? Otherwise you use ‘that’. Sit down, everyone is dismissed and I will decide at some future time if I will allow you to present this or not.” Mortified? Me? Just a bit!
While I did get to make my presentation some months later, that little escaped of terrible management taught me a world about what kind of boss and person I never, ever wanted to be! So I learned. Yep. The right way? I say NO!
So to this day, many years later, I have found that I gravitate to folks who appreciate ‘playing nice’. Not that I am not a bit competitive or don’t have any drive. Too many years as a major gift fundraiser for nonprofits to not have that! But I do find that ‘playing nice’ is the key play in my playbook.
Plus …. it is surely the only way to play in genealogy! We need too much information. From too many places. We need too many different sets of eyeballs to look at a problem from alternative points of view to do it alone! And hey, the sandbox with the nice kids in it always seemed to have more going on in it than the sandbox with the bullies.
So …. in your genealogy and life in general, I might add, remember to play nice. As my Nana always reminded me “you catch way more flies with honey than you do with vinegar”!
Onward To Our Past,