Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Getty Images for Berggruen Institute
With the passing of the iconic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, many Americans have poured encomiums on her. Some wants her memory to be a blessing, others have formed an RBG hashtag revolution. The hashtag followers are promising to fight every day, as did #RBG to achieve #EqualityForAll.
RBG (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) was until recently, the United States Supreme Court Justice. She is acclaimed to have lived an amazing life, impacting the lives of others before she died at 87, September 2020. She was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.
People were drawn to her for different reasons. For some, it is how she consistently delivered progressive votes on the most divisive social issues of the day. Issues such as abortion rights, same-sex marriage, voting rights, immigration, health care and affirmative action. Will a career advise from her take you from good to great?
Insight and nuggets of career advice from her can actually apply to everyone, regardless of career stage.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg And A Good Career Advice
Four years ago, Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote an article in the New York Times in which she offered her advice for living.
In the article, she says: “Another often-asked question when I speak in public: “Do you have some good advice you might share with us?” Yes, I do. It comes from my savvy mother-in-law, advice she gave me on my wedding day.
“In every good marriage,” she counseled, “it helps sometimes to be a little deaf. I have followed that advice assiduously, and not only at home through 56 years of a marital partnership nonpareil. I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.”
“It helps to be a little deaf”
Her line, “it helps to be a little deaf,” might just be the best piece of career advice ever given. And, like so many of her insights, her intuition is firmly supported by research. Being deaf to thoughtless and unkind words is essential to having a successful and fulfilling career.
Resilience, Response To Criticism And Letting Go
For example, tens of thousands have taken the online test “How Do You React To Constructive Criticism?” And we’ve learned that, when receiving tough feedback, fewer than a quarter of people are really able to let go of their anger and start moving forward.
But those who can respond effectively to tough feedback (i.e., tuning out the unkind words) are 42% more likely to love their job.
Research has also shown that people who do well at forgiving others (i.e. letting go of their anger and resentment) typically experience fewer negative physical health symptoms, like disorders of the cardiovascular or immune system.
Being able to tune out the thoughtless words you’re guaranteed to hear, isn’t just important to keep yourself psychologically healthy, it’s also a necessary ingredient for resilience. That is, one’s ability to bounce back quickly from failure, adversity, stress, etc.
“If you can keep yourself from perseverating on unkind words hurled in your direction, you’re far more likely to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go right back to what you were doing.”
Resilient Like A Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
And we need resilience right now. Data from the online Resiliency Test has discovered that fewer than a quarter of people have high resilience right now (you may want to test your own resilience).
In the study Employee Engagement Is Less Dependent On Managers Than You Think, 11,308 employees were surveyed about their engagement at work. And the study revealed that employees’ self-engagement (i.e. their personal outlooks like resilience, optimism, proactivity, etc.) can actually matter more than working for a great manager.
One of the discoveries from the study is that employees with high resilience are 310% more likely to love their jobs than employees with low resilience. And 136% more than employees with even moderate resilience.
Whether you want greater success or more happiness, whether you work from home or in an office, everything begins with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s timeless and elegantly simple words, “it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.”
How The Pursuit Of Audacious Goals Can Marry Thoughtless Or Unkind Words
Anyone who pursues big or audacious goals (like being the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court) is going to hear some thoughtless or unkind words. To help yourself, tune out those words, and implement Ginsburg’s advice, here’s a little trick.
“Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.”
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Whenever someone hurls some unkind words your way, ask yourself, “What are the facts here?” Set aside the other person’s emotions (e.g., their anger, resentment, accusations, jealousy, etc.). Then, listen only for whether there are any facts.
Living A Remarkable Life, The Ruth Bader Ginsburg Way
Imagine someone says to me, “you’re an idiot for thinking that project would work, you didn’t even calculate an ROI. Only a moron would do something that stupid.”
There are plenty of unkind words in that diatribe. But there’s also a fact, namely, that I didn’t calculate an ROI. So I will take that fact (which is quite useful) and focus on it to the exclusion of the unkind words. By staying factual, we stay calmer. We’re then better to discern the one or two nuggets that are often contained within even the most thoughtless and unkind comments.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg led a remarkable life. And while we might not equal her legendary career heights, we can all apply her advice. We can be a little deaf to thoughtless and unkind words. As she notes, “Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.”
Myfwl/Work Life Feed has adapted the write up for our readers. Click here to view the original write up at www.forbes.com