Il faut mettre sa fierté dans sa poche.

Il faut mettre sa fierté dans sa poche.

eel foh may-truh sah fyair-tay dah sah PUHSH. Click below to hear this.*

You have to swallow your pride.

Sometimes, in order to succeed, you have to do what’s counterintuitive.

Take business. Received wisdom has it that we need to look out for ourselves, build ourselves up at the expense of others, make sure we are always visible, lest another steal the coveted promotion from us.

Of course, that can lead to backbiting, jostling and jockeying for position, or worse. It can open the door to various forms of sabotage, such as withholding information that someone else needs in order to do his/her job. Spreading false rumors about an office mate. Stealing credit for another’s work.

How unpleasant! No wonder work can be so stressful!

But what if we swallowed our pride and saw our colleagues as teammates, not rivals? What if we helped each other out? And what if we praised our colleagues’ work instead of tearing it down?

In French: Il faut mettre sa fierté dans sa poche. You have to put your pride in your pocket, literally. It doesn’t mean that you no longer take pride in doing your job well. La fierté is an exaggerated sense of our own merit that causes us to avoid getting close to others–hence the reluctance to engage in teamwork. That’s what we should be keeping in our pocket.

*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file:

mettre_sa_fierte_dans_sa_poche.mp3

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