I’ve been thinking of self challenge of quite some time. I’ll define a self challenge as a challenge that I put upon myself with the goal to increase my awareness and change a behavior for the better. Here’s my challenge:
Do no gossip
That is, don’t talk about people behind their back. I don’t mean the stereotypical gossip of “did you hear that so and so has been…” type of stuff, I mean generally avoiding speaking about people when they’re not there.
Why? Well. I think it would be good. I’m not sure that gossiping does anyone much good, and I think that if I’m civil and fair to everyone, regardless of whether they’re in the room or not, I’ll be more open minded and constructive. Additionally, I think following my challenge would constitute a pretty solid check mark in the golden rule department, which is still one of the most elegant moral systems.
Here are the rules I’m thinking of laying out (examples in parenthesis):
- Speak no ill of anyone when they’re not there (So and so is lazy)
- Speak no trivialities of anyone when they’re not there (So and so has a bad haircut)
- Do Speak good of others when they’re not there (So and so is really smart at solving problems)
- When I must speak critically of others, focus on non-judgmental observations (So and so has been coming in past 10:00am three days this week)
- When I must speak of others, only phrase things in ways I would as if they were there (So and so is trying hard to solve the problem, but potentially is missing X or Y thing)
I had first thought that I could avoid speaking about others behind there back completely, but that is unrealistic. I have a job and a role that requires me to speak about others to solve problems for them or the company.
How hard will it be for me to keep to my five rules? Should I add another rule or rephrase them? Is it a worthwhile challenge? Should I try and log each time I break it? How should I remind myself to keep at it? And what kind of category should I put this under in my blog?