A simple Hello could lead to a million things

“A simple ‘Hello’ could lead to a million things.”

—Author Unknown

Image of hands holding up pink balloons spelling "hello"

Image from Unsplash by RawPixel

I see a very kind woman most mornings at my health club. Her name is Pat, and her primary job is to swipe each person’s membership card as they enter the facility.

I know her husband’s name is John, and that she, like me, has a passion for books and reading. Perhaps what is most notable is that she welcomes each person with an authentic ‘Hello!” and a pleasant glance, which in turn generates a reciprocal greeting and kind words from almost everyone.

On days Pat is not at the front desk, the greeting ritual is far less likely, with the front desk person and most of the patrons going through an almost robotic entrance.

EXERCISE:

Where could a few more Hellos, Good Mornings, Pleases, and genuine Thank You’s lead to millions of wonderful things to brighten the day? How can you be more like Pat in your personal and professional communities?

The better you know yourself

“The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world.”

—Toni Collette, Australian actress and musician

Image of "Soul Experience" book cover

Image from Amazon.com

If you were to rate yourself on your ability to create and sustain relationships, how would you score?

Take a look at your most closely held and cherished relationships and see what values and beliefs connect you to those people. The better you truly know and live these core values the better you can choose and navigate in your personal and professional communities.

This inner wisdom can help you better lead yourself and others who resonate with similar energies.

EXERCISE:

Consider reading the book Soul Experience – The 4th Level of Identity, by Al Killeen, to help you get to know yourself better.

Never close your lips to those to whom you have opened your heart

“Never close your lips to those to whom you have opened your heart.”

—Charles Dickens, 19th Century English writer & social critic

Image of a man and woman in a coffee shop

Image from rawpixel on Unsplash

The alchemy of relationships, particularly close, caring relationships, is very special. Things like trust, respect, cooperation, and love aren’t so easily captured and kept in good repair.

One way to keep and enhance these heartfelt relationships thriving is to place considerable value and time in open and authentic dialogue, in which each party wishes to forward the relationship and the other individual.

When disagreement and conflict occur it is not the time to withdraw and slip into silence. This form of silence can be a death blow to a previously heart-warming relationship.

EXERCISE:

What current personal or professional relationship is most in need of open dialogue to keep and expand the open-heart feelings that may be slipping away?

If You Blame it on Someone Else

“If you blame it on someone else, don’t expect it to get better.”

—Author Unknown

Blaming and making others wrong is like a black hole in the world of relationships. Nothing good ever comes out of it.

Unfortunately, we each view the world through our own perceptual filters. On many occasions, our views do not agree or align with others. This is not bad in itself, except that we often go a step further to prove our point or to undermine those who think and do otherwise.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you reduce or eliminate playing the blame game, personally or professionally, to improve your life?

It is easy to sit up and take notice

“It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action.”

—Al Batt (humorist)

image from Unsplash by William Iven

How active are you on social media? How many hours do you spend observing and interacting with the folks in your personal and professional communities?

What percent of your time is spent on content consumption, where you sit up and log into other people’s efforts?

What percent of the time are you getting up and taking action to create content and move the needles in your worlds?

EXERCISE:

Where would shifting the percentages from consumption to production cause others to sit up and notice, perhaps even taking greater action in their own lives?

Who Can You Give the Credit to

“Who can you give the credit to, before you take some for yourself?”

—Michael Bungay Stainer, Founder of Box of Crayons

Image of Jim Collins

Harry S. Truman once said, “You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit.”

The classic book, Good to Great by Jim Collins supports this idea as a critical characteristic of what he calls Level 5 Leadership. Collins found, through extensive research, that the focus on the success of others rather than on one’s own contributions and accomplishments were key attributes for those who achieved breakthrough results.

EXERCISE:

Who in your professional or personal communities has earned and deserves far more credit than they are currently given? When will you recognize and reward their significant contribution – today, and on an ongoing basis?

 

No One Agrees With Others Opinions

“No one agrees with other people’s opinion. They merely agree with their own opinions expressed by somebody else.”

—Sydney Tremayne, Canadian Stock Investment Strategist

Image of man holding placard saying "Ask the right questions"

Image from FlightJobs

How would you like to be a more masterful leader and have far greater influence in your professional and personal relationships?

For this to occur, it requires less of you and more from others.

Have you noticed that virtually everyone is far more interested in what they are thinking than in what you may be saying? Being interested rather than interesting can be just the strategy to discover their opinions and leanings on any topic. Their perspective and beliefs can point you to the areas where they can be more easily led and influenced.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom can you tap into the opinions and beliefs held by others, to significantly increase your current levels of leadership and influence?

You Must Look Into People as well as at Them

“You must look into people, as well as at them.”

—Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, 18th Century British Statesman

Image of a man on the beach staring into space

Taking a sincere interest and seeking to fully understand the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs of another could be one of the most important things we can do to change the world around us.

How many of your problems and life challenges – not to mention those of the world – are due to breakdowns in relationships and communication in general?

How often do you find yourself or someone else engaged in surface observations of others, with a critical or judgmental perspective? How does doing so diminish the relationship qualities including respect, trust, and cooperation?

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you look more deeply into the people in your professional and personal life, to change your world for the better?

Men are Not Against You

“Men are not against you; they’re merely for themselves.”

—Gene Fowler, 20th Century American journalist

Image of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner

Image from Lesterbanks

Do you have any enemies? Is there an archnemesis in your personal or professional community? What is it like to be around this person, or even to simply think about them?

What have you done to contribute to the rift between the two of you? What have you tried to perhaps mend fences?

EXERCISE:

Instead of being against one another with all the damage it can produce, how would a better understanding of what this individual stands for help?

Once you better understand their motivators and beliefs, perhaps you can break the vicious cycle of making each other wrong.

Dialogue is an exchange

“Dialogue is an exchange in which people think together and discover something new.”

—George Kohlrieser, American Clinical Psychologist

Image of people conversing at a table

Image from Unsplash by Kevin Curtis

Perhaps no single skill is more important to professional and personal growth than to be a masterful communicator.

In the classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie suggests the following:

  1. Demonstrate genuine interest in others and their ideas
  2. Be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves
  3. Show respect for others opinions and beliefs
  4. Avoid arguments, criticism, and judgment

EXERCISE:

They say two heads are better than one. What can you do to enhance your skills of dialogue to think far better with others and discover many new things through such interactions?

Consider picking up Carnegie’s book to learn more from this pioneer in the field of personal development.