Sooner or later we all experience rejection at work. Whether we are passed over for a promotion or simply have an idea of ours dismissed, we can’t help but experience a sting. (Click to Tweet!) Evolution programmed us to seek the acceptance of our tribe, and its inherent safety, so being rebuffed feels threatening.
However, we can learn to take rejection in stride. Writing in The New York Times, Wharton organizational psychologist Adam Grant says that in the face of rejection it helps to remember that each of us is composed of many selves. “When one of your identities is rejected,” he says, “resilience comes from turning to another that matters to you.“
We all assume multiple roles in our lives: manager, mentor, communicator, researcher, teacher, creator, collaborator... “When you’re insecure in one, you can lean on another one that’s doing better at that time…pliability is the definition of strength,” filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan said recently on Grant’s WorkLife podcast. As Grant sums up: Remember that what is being rejected is not you but a sample of your work…”sometimes only after seeing it through a foggy lens.”
What did you do the last time you experienced a rejection at work? Did remembering one of your alternate strengths allow you to rebound? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
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