Life Lessons – How to Get Along with People Even if You Don’t Like Them 5

Rarely can you accomplish all that you set out to do without the help of someone else. You don’t have to like the people you work with but you do need to learn how to get along with them. “Soft-Skills” or emotional intelligence as Daniel Goleman likes to refer them too – is a learned behavior.

Worth Remembering …

“A common core of personal and social abilities has proven to be the key ingredient in people’s success, emotional intelligence” – Daniel Goleman

Understanding yourself well and studying the behaviors of others allows you to improve your performance in relationships, both at work and at home. Your technical ability no longer guarantees success. Results of a study conducted by the HayGroup – a leading authority on emotional intelligence, shows that for most jobs that involve working with people, EQ (Emotional intelligence) is twice as important as IQ. Sixty-seven per cent of the competencies needed to manage or lead people effectively are emotionally based. (Often referred to as soft-skills – our ability to communicate and interact effectively with others)

Worth Remembering …

“In organizations where people trust and believe in each other, they don’t get into regulating and coercing behaviors. They don’t need a policy for every mistake … people in these trusting environments respond with enormous commitments and creativity” – Walter Wriston

Establishing a relationship built on mutual respect and trust is a process all humans have to go through when they meet someone for the very first time. We take direction from and hang out with people we like. Trust and respect do not come automatically – you must earn both – one person at a time. You must learn how to get along with people even if you don’t like them. Success is a team sport. Just like it takes a village to raise a child – it takes a team to manage and lead an organization. Think of someone you are having difficulty with – for what ever reason you two aren’t getting along. (This could be someone at work or at home) I want you to take on this challenge and turn that situation around. I want you to apply a 3-step process known as the 3R’s – I promise you’ll be amazed at how effective it is in establishing those all important relationships.

Step One: Rapport: Find out something about the other person other than the work they do. What are their hobbies? – Are they married? – Do they have children? – What do they like to do in their spare time? The easiest way to establish rapport with someone is to get them talking about themselves. Ask questions – get interested in them and then they will be interested in you.

Step Two: Relationship: You can’t have a relationship with anyone that you haven’t first established a rapport with. The more that you can carrying on a conversation with them on subjects that they are interested in – the more likely you are building a relationship with them. You are beginning to break down the barriers between you and the other person. You are starting to like each other.

Step Three: Respect: You won’t respect anyone that you haven’t developed a relationship with first. Respect is reciprocal. You have to give it to get it. The more that you treat someone the way you’d like to be treated the more likely it is that they will respond in kind. You get back – what you send out.

After respect comes trust. You never trust anyone you don’t respect first. If you have established mutual respect in your relationship with the other person, then they will trust you. They may not always agree with you – but they will respect the fact that you have an opinion and you have a right to express it. So go out and give it a try – You’ve got nothing to lose – but a whole lot to gain. – Hey remember – You can trust me 🙂

An Open Letter To Annie – The One That Got Away 4

Every time I hear that Katy Perry song – “The One That Got Away” I think of Annie. I’m sure we’ve all had that one person in our lives who we let get away for what ever reason. Blame it on bad timing, those outside forces that pulled you apart or there where just too many obstacles in your way so you gave up and moved on.

“The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn” – Amanda Kane

We are all running out of tomorrows. Banish the words shoulda, coulda, woulda from your vocabulary. Muster up the courage to step out of your comfort zone. Have enough faith and confidence in yourself that you will bounce back no matter the outcome. After all – what’s the worst thing that could happen? So big deal – you fell short of what you set out to accomplish. Don’t let your “Annie” get away. You want to make sure that when it’s your turn to make that final journey to a higher plain that you can look back on your life with no regrets.

“The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow is the “Buts” you use today” – Author Unknown

I have more years behind me than in front of me. It’s hard to connect the dots looking forward. It’s only when we slow down or stop to reflect on our past – that we see the path that we’ve taken and the legacy we will leave behind. It is only then that we think about those missed opportunities – the “if only’s” we let get away. It’s rare that we get a second opportunity in life to right a wrong. The next time you have a chance to grab the brass ring – don’t blink – don’t hesitate – not even for a second – just do it. Just do it because no matter the outcome you are far better off for having done it – then not.

The “Secret” is a Load of Crap 5

The “Secret” is a load of crap – not my words – but I get Larry Winget’s point. Just because you think about success doesn’t mean you will be successful. Success in any undertaking is hard work. Which is why most people aren’t as successful as they could be because they aren’t willing to put in the effort. Success is a planned event. If you aren’t willing to put in the time than don’t waste your time. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so. Success and being successful is a planned event.

“A good goal is like a strenuous exercise … it makes you stretch” – Mary Kay Ash

Dreams are goals with timelines. Here are some basic guidelines on setting goals. Remember to always start with the end in mind and walk your plan backwards to the here-and-now. Think of the plan as setting a SMART target.

S – Specific: Write down what you want to achieve. Don’t generalize. As Dr. Phil would say – “You’ve got to name it to claim it”. If you want to lose weight – how much weight? If you want to save money – how much money?

M – Measurable: You’ve got to be able to measure your progress. Break your target down into bite size pieces. What results do you expect to see in a week, month or in a 3-month period? If you don’t measure your progress you’ll never know if your plan is going to get the desired results. Anyone can eat an elephant – one bite at a time.

A – Attainable: Don’t set yourself up for failure. Don’t commit to completing a task in 20 minutes if you think it might take 40. Keep in mind that it’s not a sprint – it’s a marathon – be patient.

R – Realistic: To lose 20 pounds in a week might not be healthy or realistic. To lose one pound in a week may be more in line. The task must be do-able. If you think you can – or can’t accomplish the task – you’re right. You need to become your biggest cheer leader. (The little train that could)

T – Time-based: An expected date of completion is a great motivator. It helps us to create a sense of urgency. It gives us a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Keep in mind that there may be some unexpected road blocks along the way and you may have to adjust your time-line to account for those delays and detours.

Be sure to commit your plan to writing. It will give you something to refer back if you find yourself getting sidetracked or lose sight of why you are doing it in the first place. By putting it in writing you’ve given your plan the same status that you’d give any contractual agreement. Think of your written plan as a contract you’ve made with yourself.

“Planning is as natural to the process of success as its absence is to the process of failure.” – Robin Sieger

The “Secret” is – there is no secret. Nothing worthwhile achieving comes by chance. Have a plan and work your plan. Set a SMART target. – Cheers, 🙂

Take Covey’s Advice – It’s 100% in Your Control 3

I know that I can’t control everything that goes on around me. I know most outcomes are out of my hands. But I do know that I can control how I choose to react in any given situation. I know that in that space between stimulus and response that Dr. Covey talked about – and what Dr. Viktor Frankl knew to be true from his own life experiences – that I must learn to react in a way that will get me what I want. Everything you do in life is a matter of choice. You may not like the choices that you have to choose from – but it is a choice.

“If you change the way you look at things. The things you look at will change” – Unknown

Having a relationship with my son was and still is very important to me. (I was not his most favorite person when his mother and I were going through our divorce) But I knew that if I wanted to have a good relationship with my son I had to have a good relationship with his mother. I had a choice to make. The divorce could be adversarial or not. I could choose to be confrontational and drag out the divorce proceedings, or I could choose to be open and receptive and negotiate a settlement that his mother and I could agree on. I knew that if I wanted what I wanted – which was a relationship with my son – then I needed to react in a way that was going to accomplish that. My ex-wife will always be my sons mother and my granddaughters grandmother whether we were married or not. Nothing I could do would ever change that. It is what it is – it would make no never mind.

“Everything can be taken away from man but one thing – to choose – one’s own attitude in a given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl

I’m happy to say that my ex-wife and I have a great relationship. She is one of my very best friends. I know that I can turn to her for help when I need it and she knows she can count on me if and when she needs my help. (That’s what friends do) That’s a conscious choice I made.

Attitude really is everything. I’m talking about yours, not the people you work with and interact with on a daily basis. If you think about it – your attitude is the only thing you can control 100% of the time. Only you get to decide how you want to react to any given situation. Yes it’s true – other people or events may be the motivating factor that got you to react a certain way – but only you can mentally or physically do it. No one else can do it for you. You are the only one who can give that kind of power over you away. Take Covey’s advice. In that space between stimulus and response think about what you want to accomplish and then respond in a way that will get you what you want. Remember – It’s 100% in your control. – Cheers, 🙂