Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When people show you who they are, believe them

This is a saying credited to Maya Angelou. Many think its origins are from the phrases "actions speak louder than words" or "talk is cheap"

Here is a corollary – when people tell you things out of anger, frustration or spite listen to them and act accordingly.

Too often we get ourselves in trouble as adults by trying to rationalize why people say what they do when had we simply listened and done what they told us we would have fewer problems. Ie – when someone says leave – leave, not happy, will not work out, want to see other people, want other clients, other suppliers, etc.

Here is the first $1 million dollar question – how much stress and/or drama could you have saved yourself had you simply done what you were asked or told to instead of trying to convince them to do what you wanted by taking the situation and/or words at face value without trying to rationalize a meaning or getting that person to accept you decision as the right one?

Remember this simple truth, just because you want something does not mean others want it too!

Here are some questions to consider:
  • Do you accept the fact that you cannot change people?
  • Do you accept the fact that people are going to always do what they want to do?
  • Are you talking in a way others can understand?
  • Are you listening to what they are saying?
  • Are you acting based on what they are telling you or what you want to hear?
  • Are you listening with an open mind or have you already decided the outcome?
  • Did you do what they told you or did you attempt to convince them to accept your point of view?

Here is the 2nd $1M question:
  • If you cannot accept their point of view even though it may not be the outcome you want and you are unwilling to listen to our accept their perspective and them then how can you expect others to accept your viewpoints and opinions when you have closed your mind to everyone’s but your own?

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