Remember the Three Billy Goats Gruff? Every time they wanted to cross the bridge to the meadow, they had to put up with a scary troll who hassled them and threatened to eat them. Old folk tales are full of stories about trolls who knocked down churches under construction or threw stones at hapless travelers.
Have you ever worked with (or for) someone like those trolls? Someone who made you pay a toll just to do business with them? You know the type—the subject matter expert who makes you feel stupid, the boss who tells off-color jokes, the drama queen who ambushes you in the break room to blurt out more about her body than you know about your own.
In the fable, the Three Billy Goats Gruff throw the annoying troll into the river and live happily ever after. In real life, we usually can’t do a whole lot about the trolls living under the bridges we need to cross. But there is one thing we do control. We don’t have to be one of them.
Consider this. Do you find yourself surrounded by people who are too sensitive or have no sense of humor? Are many of your colleagues incompetent morons? Does the boss expect you to lend a hand to people who have nothing to offer you in return? Do you love to dish the dirt on all the latest screw-ups? Or are you just itching to share about your efforts to get pregnant?
Then the troll under the bridge might just be YOU. Let’s face it—we all have our eccentricities and that’s what makes it fun to work with other people. But in business, we’re pulling together towards a common goal. It seems reasonable to make our bridges toll-free so we can all cross to the meadow on the other side, and get our work done.