One night my wife and I were leaving a business social event. We couldn’t help but share with each other what lingering feeling we had after listening to this other couple bicker with each other and complain to the rest of us. Neither of them had anything encouraging to say and the presence made us want to leave. That’s the night several years ago, that together, we decided on two very important things going forward.
Our first important decision, as entrepreneurs, was that we needed to surround ourselves with only encouraging and supportive people. Over the next few days we began ‘cleaning house’ by listing all the adults in our lives who we felt were toxic, and removing them from our guest list. These are the people who complained and berated others, bickered with each other in front of others, and the ‘doubting Thomas’ who usually tell you every reason why your new idea won’t work.
The second thing we did was to promise each other to always speak respectfully and kind to each other and about each other if the other was absent. We promised never to air any issues we have with each other in public and to address them with each other privately. This also includes not making each other the butt of a joke or busting on each other in a humiliating way.