Why a Zero Tolerance Policy is Your Best Personal Development Resource

iStock_zero.jpgMy doctor’s surgery has a notice on the wall about their “zero tolerance policy”. It clearly states that they will not tolerate any threatening or insulting behaviour to any member of their staff. Do you think that’s fair enough? If so, do you have such a policy in place for yourself?

We all need to implement a zero tolerance policy. Here’s why.


Having a zero tolerance policy doesn’t mean that you become intolerant to others. It means that you are clear about your values and your boundaries. It means that you have a clearly drawn line and that you will not tolerate any behaviour, or treatment that crosses that line.

A zero tolerance policy is a personal charter of respect, if you respect yourself, others will too, and if you don’t… they won’t.


Maya Angelou is quoted as saying that some people try and peck at us like ducks she says “they’ll take a piece of your earlobe, hoping you didn’t notice”.

The solution to being gradually pecked down to nothing is to notice. Not in a hyper-vigilant, defensive, or prickly way. But in a way that quietly honours your core values; a way that knows the gentle art of self preservation and adjustment.

If you are calm and balanced and taking some time out for yourself to reflect and be self aware, you can easily notice the little stings and scrapes that come your way from time to time and you can adjust.

If you’re getting regularly pecked - move away from the duck! Respect yourself and protect yourself.

Truth or Dare

Congruency is a very powerful thing. People can sense when you speak and act from your place of truth. When you act in accordance with your values with every cell and fibre of your body, you are operating from a place of great strength and conviction, a place of faith and surety.

Take time out daily to reflect on your truths. In your head, or in a journal, spend five minutes a day to get to know yourself. Why do you think this? Why do you do that? Is that really true, or is that just something you’re repeating from habit?

A dog knows if your congruent, you can say “sit” in a thousand different tones of voice, but if you don’t say it like you mean it, the dog won’t sit. Your children know if you’re congruent, I hear parents all the time say “Sarah, if you don’t …, they’ll be no …” and I see the kid going “yeah, yeah” because that child knows that the final blank is “consequences”. If you don’t… there will be no consequences, because I don’t really mean this and I’m not going to follow through.

In your daily life, if you live and act like you mean it, not only will your pets and kids take you seriously, but the adults in your life will too. Better still, you’ll start to take yourself more seriously, and that means that you are not going to tolerate pecking, disrespect or compromise. No, means no. You can still be open hearted, warm and wonderful, but you have your line and behind it you stand strong and self aware.