Sklover’s Monday Thought: “You’ve Got to Learn . . .“

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“You’ve got to learn to leave the table when they are no longer serving love.”

– Nina Simone

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Nina Simone, one of my long-time favorite recording artists, had it right. No one deserves or needs to accept poor treatment, whether it be humiliation or abuse, whether at home, work or elsewhere. It is just something we’ve all “got to learn.”

This very topic came up in a recent conversation with a friend, a seasoned Executive Recruiter. She shared with me how many successful employees were seeking new positions – not for more money and not to “climb the ladder” – but to get away from toxic situations at the office.

And, too, how many job candidates were turning down offers of significant positions and lofty compensation from employers because those employers had reputations for “toxicity.” She noted that in that week alone, four job candidates used the same exact phrase, “Life’s too short.” They are right.

No, relationships are not “disposable,” but neither should they be permitted to wear you down, wear you out, or deplete your confidence and health. Transitions of any kind are by their very nature disruptive. But “disruptive” is a whole lot better than “destructive.”

At the same time, it is nothing less than amazing how a respectful, productive, cooperative and positive work relation can encourage an overall positive frame of mind and health, even longevity . . . for all. One of my employees has been with my firm for just under 26 years. Need I say more?

There are steps you can take to limit toxicity on the job. There are steps you can take to limit the effects of toxicity on your well-being. But after trying those, without success, “You’ve got to learn to leave the table when they stop serving love.”

This Nina Simone quote is a lyric from her song “You’ve Got to Learn,” from her 1965 album “I Put a Spell on You.” Her music is one of the reasons I believe that, like few other things in life, “Music soothes the soul.”

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