“If you blame it on someone else, don’t expect it to get better.”
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.
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. 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?
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?
“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.
“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
—William James, 19th Century American Philosopher/Physician
One of my favorite forms of entertainment and education is watching documentaries, especially when they relate to our natural world. In the BBC series Human Planet, the filmmakers take us on a journey to many fascinating places around the world, including diverse island communities.
To my delight and fascination, many deeply held common bonds are shared by each society, such as the importance of family, community, contribution, and the desire to serve a higher purpose.
How can you look below the surface of your current professional and personal relationships to see more of what connects versus separates us from one another?
“The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality.”
—John Quincey Adams, 6th President of the United States
Image from Unsplash by Alex Hockett
We often hear comments about newborns having their mother’s eyes, or their father’s nose or smile.
Beyond our genetic code living on in our offspring, today’s quote points to the tremendous influence those outside our immediate family can have on us.
Take a few minutes to look at your past and current relationships to see how they have shaped the person you are today. Consider among these friends, teachers, mentors, coaches, neighbors, and religious leaders.
Where and with whom do or can you intentionally have a more positive influence within your various communities? Who are some of the individuals you may wish to thank again, or for the first time, for their contribution to your life?
“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.