Just for today, practice less defensiveness. When someone pushes your buttons (and we certainly all have buttons and people who know just where and when to push), our human nature reaction is to want to push back. However, as professionals, we have an obligation and a privilege to be role-models. No matter what leadership role we might have, people are watching us all the time. We are role-modeling all the time. The question is not whether we will be role-modeling, but rather which particular skills we want people to emulate. Personally, I would rather not spread poison if that is what is coming at me. Instead, I pray to remain confident, cool, and professional in the face of poison being thrown at me. Are we guaranteed to change other people when we remain calm, cool, and collected? Heavens no! But Gandhi said it beautifully when he said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Just for today, I am going to try. How about you?