I recently watched a telecast with Eckhart Tolle and he made a statement that caught my attention. He said, “Karma is not what happens to us. It’s how we respond to what happens to us. And each response creates new karma.”
As I watch the ongoing unraveling of Anthony Weiner’s political career, it seems like he’s an excellent example of workplace karma as Eckhart describes it. It’s not that he sexted various young women inappropriately from his social media accounts (what happened). What his colleagues find most objectionable is the fact that he lied about it to the press, to his peers, and to his constituency (response to what happened).
Is there something to be learned from former Representative Weiner’s experience besides how to make a humorous headline using his last name? For me, the lesson goes back to karma. If I make a mistake or omit information or engage in less-than-professional behavior, my best response is to own it. That’s how I can improve my workplace karma.
Owning poor behavior, or even “darker” emotions like anger, jealousy, lust, and greed, isn’t easy. It requires an acceptance of one’s humanity and a willingness to ‘fess up. I applaud anyone who can do it. I’m grateful to work with people and live with family members who have done that with me.
May we all become more skillful at creating better karma no matter what happens at work.