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.

We are like islands in the sea

“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”

—William James, 19th Century American Philosopher/Physician

Image of Human Planet TV Show

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.

EXERCISE:

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?

a kind of immortality

“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 of a physician holding a newborn

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.

EXERCISE:

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?

Friday Review Relationships

FRIDAY REVIEW: RELATIONSHIPS

How do you see yourself in relationship to others? Here are a few relationship-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.

 

“To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”

 

 

“Examine the contents, not the bottle.”

 

 

 

 

 

“You can rest assured that if you devote your time and attention to the highest advantage of others, the universe will support you.”

 

 

 

Grudges get heavier the longer they are carried

“Grudges get heavier the longer they are carried.”

—P.K. Thomajan, 20th Century Essayist

Image of a man carrying a heavy sack

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.

EXERCISE:

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

“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”

—Robert Brault, American Freelance Writer

meme of "I'm Sorry"

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.

EXERCISE:

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

“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 of a team

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:

  1. What is working and going well in your personal and professional life?
  2. 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.

EXERCISE:

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

“Behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest.”

—Confucius, Ancient Chinese teacher and philosopher

Image of Disney's Beauty & the Beast

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.

EXERCISE:

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?

Walking with Giants

“A man has dreams of walking with giants. To carve his niche in the edifice of time.”

—Mr. Banks, in Disney’s Mary Poppins

Image of Mary Poppins flying over the city

I first saw Mary Poppins in 1964. I was seven years old. It was a cold, snowy day. Mom and I took several buses into downtown Philadelphia, to stand in line for the big event.

This technicolor miracle of Disney magic had people buzzing for weeks. Beyond the special effects was a heartfelt story of exceptional characters. Today’s quote by George Banks, the family patriarch in the film, is powerful coaching for young boys and girls, as well as the older generation.

EXERCISE:

What are your dreams? What niches are you carving? What giants do you walk with? How will you leave your mark on the edifice of time?

What efforts can and will you make in the years ahead to make an even bigger impact on the edifice of time?

Peace is not made at the council table

“Peace is not made at the council table or by treaties, but in the hearts of men.”

—Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States

Image from Flickr by Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Image from Flickr by Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

In the movie, Miss Congeniality (2000), Sandra Bullock plays an undercover FBI Agent posing as a contestant when terrorists threaten to bomb the Miss United States beauty pageant. Bullock’s character, Gracie, is the only female FBI agent who can “look the part” despite her complete lack of refinement and femininity. She prides herself in being “just one of the boys” and is horrified at the idea of becoming a girly girl.

Since the film was a comedy, the audience wasn’t alarmed. We all happily watched all the interplay of contestants and other characters. In one scene, the contestants were asked about their personal goals and aspirations. Almost every contestant mentioned world peace at some point in their response.

In today’s dynamic and often violent world, we sure could use more people working on world peace in their personal and professional lives. If all of us did our part, we would never need a council table or treaty, which as President Hoover points out, rarely works.

EXERCISE:

What heartfelt attitudes and actions can you share in your communities to bring about greater peace on earth?