Identifying and transforming splitters into peacemakers is the topic of this post. As you’ll see in my story, they can be tricky to spot and oftentimes it isn’t until they’ve done their dirty work.
Did you ever get sucked into some juicy gossip and then see it backfire? UG! That’s what happened to me. And while I’m so embarrassed, it’s such a good learning moment.
I had an employee who was always telling me how wonderful I am. She would smile such a sweet smile and say “You are so smart and perceptive. I bet you can always tell when people are lying or being deceptive.”
I would stand up straighter, nod my head in the affirmative, and say with profound modesty “Yup.”
Then Janice would tell me about all the issues with the staff that happened when I was traveling around the country to work with teams and leaders.
Her response was always, “You know how much I care about you. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.”
Listen, if you ever hear those words from someone, I beg you, be careful.
They sound soothing. Yet, real BS.
Finally, a staff member and I were having coffee, just taking a peaceful break and she said, “I hear you and Janice are at odds with each other.”
I guess at times of surprise I’m not so eloquent. I looked at Lois and merely went, “Huh?”
Then I got an earful about everything I ever did that was not perfect, actually everything I ever did that was, well, merely human.
And suddenly, it hit me. I had been lulled into dreamland by a splitter.
In my defense, I always teach that the splitter is the hardest pattern to observe and the hardest pattern to transform.
Here’s why: Splitters are especially insidious because they are so hard to spot. They’re always so congenial and helpful (at least to your face). They always want to protect you and be there when needed.
Transforming splitters into peacemakers, is it possible?
Watch this short video and see what I have to say.
OKAY, you’re wondering what did I do?
I had to call several on my leadership team and ask the pointed questions that were hard to ask and listen to answers that made me sad and uncomfortable.
I had missed the mark by a mile.
Truth telling is freeing. Just remember, sometimes you must dig for the truth. It’s worth it. The thick veil of pollution I had been feeling lately began to lift.
Next, was my discussion with Janice. It didn’t go very well. She claimed I was tormenting her with my questions and was going to sue saying it was a hostile work environment.
She did quit. I was lucky. Her husband was going to be transferred to another part of the country. Our HR partner spoke with her and in a kind way simply told her it would be best to just leave since there were so many who would come forward to respond to her “splitting ways.”
This is one battle never won. From what I hear she leaves shards of glass wherever she goes. Often splitters grew up in families where they learned very early you had to take sides, and yet neither side had any safety. Thus, you play people off to never get caught being the one to get yelled at.
I still hope.
You see, splitters who do see the light of day can transform to become peacemakers. That is my wish for her. She is talented and could be a great force for good. I just missed the signals.