“Who can you give the credit to, before you take some for yourself?”
—Michael Bungay Stainer, Founder of Box of Crayons
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.
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 other people’s opinion. They merely agree with their own opinions expressed by somebody else.”
—Sydney Tremayne, Canadian Stock Investment Strategist
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.
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.”
—Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, 18th Century British Statesman
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?
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; they’re merely for themselves.”
—Gene Fowler, 20th Century American journalist
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?
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 in which people think together and discover something new.”
—George Kohlrieser, American Clinical Psychologist
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:
- Demonstrate genuine interest in others and their ideas
- Be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves
- Show respect for others opinions and beliefs
- Avoid arguments, criticism, and judgment
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.
“Grudges get heavier the longer they are carried.”
—P.K. Thomajan, 20th Century Essayist
Image from Unsplash by Brooke Lark
I find it particularly interesting that many people do not always experience the holiday season with the joy and happiness the media would suggest.
With the season now in our rear-view mirror, I’ve observed many of my professional colleagues, friends, and clients share some not so happy tales of gatherings that went badly, due to the less than warm feelings carried into these occasions.
Perhaps not so surprising is the fact that many people avoid these gatherings altogether, and have done so for many years, due to the heaviness of the grudges they carry.
With whom are you carrying a heavy and burdensome grudge, personally or professionally?
What strategies and approaches can you use to lighten your load and improve these relationships?
Consider picking up a copy of Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott, for some strategies to consider.
“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”
—Robert Brault, American Freelance Writer
We all recognize that life can be difficult at times. Take a few moments and look into your past, to a time when someone wronged you, personally or professionally. Examine all the details of this event to see if it still has any grip on you, especially if you never received a proper apology.
For many people, reliving such events in their minds can be particularly upsetting and painful, even if the occurrence happened years or decades ago.
How could you make your life easier and travel lighter by developing the talent to accept apologies you never received?
“The world must learn to work together, or finally it will not work at all.”
—Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States
Image from OD4pic
As part of my preliminary discover process, two of the questions I use to determine the potential value of a coaching relationship are:
- What is working and going well in your personal and professional life?
- What is not working or going as you wish in your personal and professional life?
Based on the answers provided, a customized coaching relationship can be used to support going from good to great, or from not good to substantially better.
Perhaps no single factor impacts these areas more than the ability to create mutually trusting relationships and work toward common objectives.
Given the state of the world and specifically your worlds, what efforts and actions can and will you take to work more effectively and successfully with others?
“Behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest.”
—Confucius, Ancient Chinese teacher and philosopher
Image from Disney Movies
I enjoy Disney movies – how about you?
My favorite over the last few years is Beauty and the Beast. A highlight of the animated and live actor versions is the “Be Our Guest” extravaganza.
Imagine how special and delightful it would be with the extraordinary level of service, attention, and delicious morsels of food offered at such an event.
How would your personal or professional world improve if you were to treat each and every one as a great guest you held with the highest regard?