“You are the average of the five people you spend the most amount of time with…”
Let that sink in for a minute.
We’ve all seen those memes that fly around our social media feeds, the ones that say things like, ‘if your circle doesn’t celebrate your successes, get a new circle’, but that’s not really what we’re getting at here.
The idea that you are the average of the five people you spend the most amount of time with, is more to do with the world of work, the world of business, and that you really do reflect, replicate and reproduce the attitudes, efforts and, ultimately, the successes, of those with whom you spend the most amount of time.
Simplistically, if you spend your time with naysayers and negative minded people, you are much more likely to follow in their footsteps and mirror their mind set, one which is pegged back with doubts and fear.
A ‘can’t do’ approach that limits not just your expectations, but your outcomes as well.
If you spend your time with positive, proactive people though, chances are that this will rub off on you, and that in turn, your proactivity and positive vibes will rub off on them too.
So, what do you do if you find yourself working with someone who doesn’t fit into this category?
They’re not the idealistically optimistic colleague, partner or client you hoped for.
Do you drop them and move on?
You could do, but remember that the rule of five applies for them too, and that your positivity could be the shot in the arm that they need to get back to where they want to be.
Give off good vibes and you’ll get good vibes back.
OK…this isn’t a hippy commune, it’s your business, and sometimes the world of business is a little more serious than passing on a smile, but the rule of five still rings true.
Even when things get serious, who are you surrounded with?
People who lose their heads, shout and scream, blaming everyone else around them?
What happens here is that everyone they blame ends up feeling accused or even guilty, and this usually means they lash out, they bitch, they moan.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Without even realising it, we pick up the habits and attitudes of those around us. It just so happens to be the case though, that bad habits are easier to pick up than good habits.
A work environment where lateness isn’t taken seriously can result in a big problem occurring.
Even members of staff who had previously been punctual, can soon start to slip. Either they think ‘what’s the point of being on time when no one else is?’ or they subconsciously start to allow themselves a few extra snoozes on the alarm, or a leisurely coffee on the way in.
Neither of these reasons is ideal, because they contribute to a culture of lateness becoming the norm, and becoming accepted.
Once this is entrenched, it’s pretty difficult to remove or even change.
Prevention is better than the cure.
A positive example of picking up the habits and attitudes of those around us could come from something as simple as replying to emails promptly, or paying invoices on time.
It won’t always work, but setting high standards and maintaining them is a great way to add your contribution to the ‘power of five’.
At Trinity U, we practice what we preach, and the only difference is that our team is always growing. The Power of Five has become the Power of Ten, and it’s still growing, but we ensure that the values, vision and ethos of the organisation are preserved and nurtured with each addition to the team, so that the work of the individual is always appreciated and respected by the collective, and visa versa.
It’s a symbiotic relationship in the truest sense, and that’s exactly what all this ‘power of five’ stuff is all about.
Take a few minutes to consider who your five (or more) are.
Which traits of theirs do you admire?
Which little bits and bobs annoy you?
You don’t have to write this down (especially if there’s a chance they might see it!) but once you have your list of the good, the bad and the annoying, be honest with yourself as you go down that list and try to identify anything which you yourself may display from time to time, again, the good, the bad and the annoying.
You may be surprised to see that, if you’re really honest with yourself, that ‘latecomer’ or ‘do gooder’ who gets on your nerves a bit, actually shares some of your own quirks and qualities.
Maybe not all of them, but some of them.
That’s because you spend so much time with them!
It all comes down to three R’s, and you know we love a bit of alliteration at Trinity U…
And being realistic.
In terms of recruitment, you have to get it right. You need to bring people on board who are going to benefit your business, and bring something that enhances all the good, and negates any of the bad.
A big ask, yes, but effective recruitment can mean the difference between achieving huge success as a business or failing miserably.
Speak to people in your field about their recruitment processes.
Personalities are important, as important as skills and experience we think.
Which brings us nicely onto relationships…
Relationships are so important in the world of business, as we’re sure you already know. In terms of this idea of ‘the power of five’ though, the role of the relationship is placed under the microscope more than ever, because the interlinking interactions we have with each other, affect all of us and everything else besides.
That’s relationships with colleagues, relationships with clients, and relationships with absolutely anyone you come into contact with.
Always remember that you are having just as much influence on someone else’s ‘power of five’ as they are on yours…
…and, always remember to be realistic.
This isn’t a perfect world, you might have noticed, and so expecting a power of five to be nothing but brilliant is unrealistic.
There will be things that everyone you work with bring to the table, that you’d really rather they didn’t, but so too will there be things that you bring that they could do without.
There will undoubtedly be things that rub off on you (and on them) that make them less productive, less positive and less ‘perfect’, but whether it’s lateness, laziness or nipping off early on a Friday, you need to look holistically at their overall contribution to the average.
Don’t accept low standards, but don’t beat everyone with a stick that isn’t realistic.
Balance is key, as it usually is with averages…
How are things with your ‘power of five’ then?
Time for a pat on the back?
Or time for a change?