Everyone says to “find yourself”. The problem is, who you are changes based on your role. You determine which role you play the most. Are you a child? Are you a boss? Are you a employee? Are you a leader? Are you a parent? Are you a friend? Are you a mentor? In each role, you are someone different. While you values, character, and personality don’t change – who you are in relation to others does. Pay attention to the role you play. The best way to find yourself is to create the biggest impact on those around you. Your role is important in creating the value that has the greatest results. Help others more.
If you don’t know what you don’t have, you make do. Growing up we “made do”, a lot. My wonderful single mother raised us 6 kids by working multiple jobs and instilling in us a “Get it Done” attitude. It didn’t matter what it was, if it was to be done, she did it or “helped” us do it. We learned to take the same approach. The question of how was never raised. We were expected to figure it out.
We worked a lot as a family. My mom “made” us do chores daily, not just on Saturday. And of course Saturdays were brutal. Ask my only two friends. They never came over until at least noon, just so they could be spared the experience (maybe I should have had better friends). Getting a job outside the home at age 11 cleaning horse stalls at a local boarding stable was a relief, and so much easier than working at home. The same with mowing lawns, bagging groceries, babysitting, moving irrigation pipe, flipping burgers, shoveling snow, milking cows, and whatever else I did. Even now, I look back and can’t think of any work that I have done that was more difficult than those “chores.” Besides working hard, we learned to work smart (creative?) in order to get everything done.
How do you weed the nastiest weeds in the yard and garden without a spade/shovel/gloves? With your fingers. How do you hang seemingly endless walls worth of picture frames without a screwdriver? With a butter knife. How do you make cereal? Pour some milk over a couple slices of bread. Etc…
Constraints help us succeed. Using resources productively is the ultimate sign of success. Deadlines are a great motivator for procrastinators. Competitive athletes need to win whatever the scoring method is. You never know what you will do to survive, until you have no other options. Necessity brings out ingenuity.
Even though we never have everything we want, often we have much more than we realize.
Scott Sonenshein is a professor of management at Rice University. His consults major enterprises with his innovative research and unique findings. Professor Sonenshein decided to put some of his best work into a new book called ‘Stretch’. I love this book. Get your copy here. The 9 chapters are full of exceptional stories and scientific proof to help you succeed. (Chapter 4 is my favorite)
In the book he shows us how some people succeed with so little, while others fail when they have so much.
It all comes down to your mindset.
Chasing vs. Stretching
You don’t realize what you don’t have until one of two things happen: You REALLY need it or you see someone else with something, and then you want it.
Chasing is about social comparisons. We compare ourselves to others and then we convince ourselves that we need what they have. It leads to despair and too much energy being spent chasing things that do not bring in real value.
“Chasing makes people miserable.”
In order to perform better and be more creative we need to stretch ourselves. Even though having the right amount of money can help, when it runs out most people don’t know what to do. Even though having the right tool can make any job easier, when you don’t have the right tool, most people can’t get the job done. This is what it means to Stretch: To get the job done, no matter what resources are available. Stretching is about using what you have to make your circumstance better. Stretching is not making excuses, it is finding ways to succeed.
4 Ways to Become a Stretcher (from the book)
1. Broaden Experiences – a variety of experiences allows us to break convention by using resources in new ways. Spontaneity sponsors creativity. Goals are achieved as action is taken.
2. Act Without Planning – take action, plan as you go. Planning is a good way to impose artificial constraints. Action almost always wins. Take action first, plan along the way.
3. Erase Negative Expectations – we often assume the worst. It is a good tool to stay alive, a bad trait for increased innovation and performance. We receive what we expect. As we expect the best from others, we in turn will receive better outcomes.
4. Create Unthinkable Combinations – the best inventions and ideas are created when two previously unrelated items get combined together. Often our ability to create is limited by artificial boundaries. We separate work and home, family and friends, health and relaxing. By combining previously uncombined areas of our lives we open the door to more combinations and greater productivity.
We have enough. More is not the answer. More time, more stuff, more resources. More can help us, but more is not the solution in and of itself.
Instead of trying to get more, we should focus on using what we already have. Stop chasing. Start stretching. Scott Sonenhshein wrote a book filled with tons of data and real life stories that will help us all succeed by learning to stretch. I recommend reading it. The basic message is:
“What you do with what you have matters more than what you have.”
In conclusion here is Professor Sonenshein’s giving us much needed motivation and inspiration:
“You already have everything you need to succeed in business and life, ready for you to unlock and activate. Stop worrying about what you don’t have, and appreciate what you do have. Think and act as if success is possible, then unleash your creativity to get there.”
Insecurity is often loud while pretending to be quiet. Faith is quiet. Hope is quiet. Faith and hope lead to confidence.
Confidence can be loud. Confidence should be loud, at least inside your mind it should be the only thing you listen to.
The horrible truth is some emotional suffering is our own fault. We only suffer when reality does not meet expectations. Our highly developed brain often is the cause for this suffering. As humans we regret the past, don’t enjoy the present, and worry about the future. We suffer because we are not content with what we have, yet do not work toward what we want. This is self-inflicted suffering. Which is sad, troublesome, and also hopeful. If our brain and thoughts are the root cause of our suffering, that means it can also help to erase it. What we focus on, is what will grow. We can reshape our brain as we reshape what we think about, on purpose. Focus on the good, focus on gratitude, focus on others. Suffering goes away when a content heart is helping others.
Every project seemed to sink. It was one person’s fault too! You know the person. We all do. That one employee who is just good enough, yet hurts more than they help. They make themselves look good at the expense of others. Selfishness at their core.
A few years ago in a previous role in another industry our team managed large scale software rollouts to major enterprise clients. Each team member had important functions to perform. Most of us did them. One person did not.
They were educated. They had experience. They didn’t use either; they did surf the internet a lot though. They dropped the ball on every project. Then blamed the people who actually did the work. Then they would work late to try and fix their own mistakes while still blaming others for the problem. Often they looked like the hero. It was a genius plan. Even worse, it worked multiple times.
When someone goes behind our back, blames us for thing they caused, or in some other way hurts us, we experience strong negative emotions. Each person can feel that same experience in a different manner though.
“Humans vary greatly in the way they experience emotions. Even after practice and effort, you can’t really control how you feel. But you can control your reactions to those feelings.” – Justin Bariso
When dealing with a horrible coworker – the thing that must be fixed first is your mindset. Your frame of mind will determine the outcome. This is based on the science of brain and emotional neuroplasticity. The theory of Self-directed neuroplasticity was developed by Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz and is the idea that we can consciously control how we want our brains to work.
To take proper action and get the correct mindset we must emotionally disconnect from the situation. This is not ignoring or moving on, this is the science and art of not worrying about things outside of your control so you can focus on things you can control. This is about emotional intelligence in action. This is awareness and then management of emotions.
Peter Bregman, the expert consultant and author of 18 Minutes and 4 Seconds said:
“Our ability to resist an impulse determines our success in learning a new behavior or changing an old habit. It’s probably the single most important skill for our growth and development.”
When we experience a negative event we can take specific actions that will help us Emotionally Disconnect. The four step process is:
- reClassify – Identify what you are feeling then assign a label of being real or imagined. Once an emotion has a name and classification
- reDefine – You give meaning to everything. Nothing has meaning until we give it meaning. If something has a negative meaning, you can change the definition.
- reCenter – The center is your focus. You get what you focus on. Stop focusing on the things that bring your down about the current event or situation, instead focus on the things that you can control. Center your mind around your own attitude and actions.
- reAdjust – We believe the stories we tell ourselves. Tell yourself that the person you are dealing with is not bad, that they are good. Adjust your thought process to want to help them. Your whole world will change.
Once our mindset is correct we can then take calm, educated, calculated, actions that in the end will help the other person as well as helping ourselves. As we focus on helping ourselves, we will very rarely win or feel complete. As we focus on helping the other person, even when they have wronged us, we can find true satisfaction in our professional and personal lives.
In order to make the relationship work I knew I had to change my behavior. While I was not doing anything wrong , I wasn’t doing what I needed to be doing. (much like what brought Nokia down…)
With my mindset in a position to grow and change and I decided to take 4 specific actions:
1. 6 Second Rule
I committed to not reacting for 6 seconds. Every time I felt a negative emotion coming I would spend at least 6 seconds focusing on a deep breath. This allowed me time to adjust my mindset.
2. Smile More
People can sense how you feel about them. They know when you don’t like them. Emotions are contagious. The fastest way to change and emotion is to do something physical. Exercises is good but not always possible. So I decided to smile. I smiled more at everyone, especially when I greeted this co-worker. I smiled to make myself happier but more importantly to let the other person know I was a friend not an enemy.
“…smiles have many different facets and meanings to different people, including light, appreciation, love, acceptance, sympathy, kindness and humor…to be more conscious of our smiles, and to actively and compassionately offer an authentic, from-the-heart smile to as many people as possible…” – Kathy Caprino
3. Take Them to Lunch
The focus was to listen. Listen and listen. Listening shows care. When someone feels like you are concerned about them, that you care about them, they begin to care about you.
4. Ask for What is Needed
Step 1 helps you not destroy trust while steps 2 and 3 help to build trust. They are genuine, not manipulative ways to learn more about another person and get them to see you as a person as well. Once people connect with people, relationships get strong. As I smiled and listened our trust grew. The final step was to let the person know what I needed help with. Not in an accusatory manner, but rather in a friendly “this is what will help me approach.”
Amazing. Not an overnight turnaround but the ship did turnaround and the work got done. The projects went smoother and the relationship grew stronger because of the ability to emotionally disconnect from every negative situation. Then I could take correct actions. Those actions would not have been possible if the instant emotions controlled my actions rather than my self-directed conscious thoughts.
For the first time in my life I invented something. Actually, it was more of a process/model than a ‘thing’. I didn’t think it was very good; but it worked for me. I shared it with a few people, it worked for them too. Maybe it will work for you as well.
When trying to help and lead others we often encounter resistance, challenges, and obstacles. Taking action will solve most problems. Well, what do you do when that action doesn’t get you anywhere? You know you need to change, but you don’t know what they change should be. Trial and error works, but often takes too long. One way to overcome stagnation is when you have models to follow, mentors to mimic, and processes to plan around.
Every leader has to sell. Every professional needs to sell processes, to sell results, to sell outcomes, and to sell visions. When you are in sales your ultimate goal is to help others make a decision that results in positive outcomes for all stakeholders. When you are truly trying to help others, ‘sales’ is a noble profession, even if you are not a sales professional. There are some great resources to learn how to sell well. They teach you tactics, or some of the science, or offer models for presenting and closing. They are all valuable. Then there are research based materials. The field of influence and persuasion has been studied by the greatest minds on earth. Data backed research and thousands of examples have been done to show how humans are influenced. Most of that research is focused either on the emotional state or the mental state of the people involved in the sale.
While these ideas/methods work and are useful, most of the material does not provide us with a model that does two very needed things:
- They Don’t Teach You How to Apply the Findings
- They Don’t Combine Both Mental and Emotional aspects into One Model
Since I have been in sales my entire professional career, this bothered me. I didn’t have the time or resources to figure this out on my own, I knew other people must have figured it out. So I read. I read some more. I studied everything I could on sales and influence and found some amazing material. Yet, nothing connected it all together.
Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence”, is the greatest resource produced so far on learning the various methods for how people can be influenced. These are Cialdini’s – 6 Principles of Influence:
(1) Reciprocity – People tend to return a favor, thus the large amounts free samples in marketing. Do something for someone, and they will often do something for you.
(2) Commitment and Consistency – If something is consistently heard or seen, it is more likely to be believed and acted upon. Also, if people commit to a goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment even if the original reward or incentive is taken away after they have already agreed.
(3) Social Proof – People will do things that they see other people do or approve of.
(4) Authority – People generally obey authority figures if they deem that authority legitimate.
(5) Liking – People are persuaded by other people that they like. If Peyton Manning or Beyonce like something, we tend like it is as well.
(6) Scarcity – Scarcity will generate demand since we think it must be valuable if it is running out.
These are valid and science backed principles. Yet, the more I studied them the more I realized something was missing. It was the emotional, or the why, or the purpose, or the main motivator. Simon Sinek’s content was imperative in understanding the need for this.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek
The thing that lacked in Simon’s work was a specific model or pattern that can be applied to personal and professional situations. I needed a way to apply Sinek’s and Cialdini’s great insights.
I was thinking about this problem constantly for a few months. Then one evening I took a group of 16-18 year old young men to master marketer Russell Brunson’s “garage” (gym/wrestling room/man cave) where he taught the boys some life skills as well as showed them some cool wrestling moves. One thing he shared was Tony Robbins Six Human Needs.
Finally, I heard something that addressed the “why” in a way that can be applied to the science of influence. Tony Robbin’s teaches that these are the 6 Humans Needs we all have:
(1) Certainty – The need for security, stability, and reliability.
(2) Variety/Uncertainty – The need for change, stimulation, and challenge.
(3) Significance -The need to feel acknowledged, recognized, and valued.
(4) Love and Connection – The need to love and to feel loved, and to feel connection with others.
(5) Growth – The need to grow, improve and develop, both in character and in spirit.
(6) Contribution – The need to give, to help others, and to make a difference.
Basically, every human has six emotional needs. We possess all of them, yet one of the needs is our own personal primary driver. Our main need, the one we thrive on, is our most dominate Human Need. Each person has one major need and that need always wins out when decisions are made and actions are taken.
My wife is driven by Certainty. I thrive on Growth. Donald Trump is motivated by Significance above all else. Serial entrepreneurs are often driven by Contribution or Uncertainty (variety).
Once I learned about these 6 Human Needs I was able to connect them to Cialdini’s 6 Methods of Influence and “curated” the Complete Impact Model (CIM) or The Robbins-Cialdini Impact Model. I wish I actually invented something so awesome, but really I just took what was already there and found a way to use it for my situation.
This model works only once you really get to know the person you are in a relationship with, selling to, leading, or working with.
The first step is to discover what their main human need is. You need to truly care enough about them to get to know them. Find out what drives them and then help them achieve what they want. The second step is once you know what they are motivated by, you can then determine what principle of influence you are going to use to help them make a positive decision. You choose a Cialdini influence method and then apply it in an ethical fashion.
In order to apply the Complete Impact Model (CIM), first you determine which of the Robbin’s Human Needs are most relevant for the person you are leading and then combine that Human Need with a Cialdini Influence Principle. You now have a better way to help lead, inspire, and motivate others.
The Results (Example & Application)
I was a manager for 7 direct reports. The top executives decided to change the customer success model where how we handled the daily client interactions would be drastically changed. The current process seemed to work well, so we felt getting buy-in might be hard.
Of the 7 reports: 2 were driven by certainty, 3 by contribution, and 2 by growth. In order to make the impact model work I decided to use the same influence method of consistency and commitment while personalizing it by using their main human need as the foundation. The goal was to influence through consistency, since the more we hear something, the more we believe it. But, what each person needed to “hear” was different because each of the human needs were different.
When implementing the model, I took 3 specific actions:
- Since I had a few weeks of lead time I decided to purchase each of the reports a book that connected with their main driver. Each were provided with self-help business book where I felt they would resonate with the “findings”. Instead of trying to teach them something new, I focused on their strengths, on what already connects with them. Inside the cover of the book I reminded them how important following the right processes is to sustained customer satisfaction and how the unique skills/outlook they have (Certainty, Contribution, Growth) will impact the success and then be sustained over time.
- Then I sent a follow-up email reminding them how I am thankful for the skills they bring to the team and highlight their main driver and why it helps, and how it will help as we continue to change and innovate to help our customers. For the people who thrive on contribution I connected the end results with their ability to contribute to the team. For the ones who need certainty I was able to help them understand that as we change and adapt the certainty we attain is found in not losing the client. Each human need was emphasized and the value drawn out.
- The third “consistent” message was done in-person as I created one-on-one time with them and reiterated everything I told them in the book message and previous email.
The results were impressive. Finally, when the time came to formally introduce the changes, we were able to share the ideas and I was able to connect with each report on a deeper level. While many people in the company did not like the changes, those 7 were 100% on board because they were able to connect emotionally and mentally to the vision and to the process in which the vision was presented.
Bringing it All Together
Leadership is about helping others see the solution and the process and then giving them the tools and confidence to achieve the vision. You need to sell yourself, and then you need to sell others. Sales is about helping people. In all cases you need to be able to influence others on an emotional and mental level. Not manipulation, but pure motivation.
Sometimes we need models and processes to follow. One process that might help is the Complete Impact Model. The essential key is to learn and understand Tony’s Robbins’s 6 Human Needs and combine that foundation with Robert Cialdini’s 6 Influence Principles in order to create an actionable plan that will help you help others. Happy Selling.
We were in Alabama, I think. Maybe it was Arkansas, back then everyplace blended together, all hotel ballrooms end up looking the same. We travelled to a new city at least weekly. Besides the ballrooms being the same, the words were the same as well:
“You are just not good enough.”
“It is your fault sales are low.”
“Sales are down because the economy crashed.”
“Corporate always makes bad moves and tries to screw the field”
“The customers are idiots.”
These were the constant phrases spoken by our sales boss. This relentless negativity demoralized the entire team, hurt our performance, and even had me starting to believe these false realities.
We all have to deal with negative people. Sometimes they like to call themselves “realists”. In actuality there are only two types of people: those who focus on the “can” and those who focus on the “can’t”. Maybe you can see both, but you can’t focus on both. No one can. Our mind reverts to processing what is easiest. It is easier to accept failure than strive for greatness. The good news is that what we focus on is not permanent, it can be changed, we can change it.
Emotions are transferable. We feel what those around us are feeling. When other people are negative it can affect us. The opposite is also true, when we are positive, our attitude can help other people. The best way to overcome negativity is through patience. When coupled with proper action patience is actually the secret to solving many problems. Patience with empathy solves most relationships. Patience with hard work creates success.
Patience is what wins over negativity. Patience is what drives success. Patience is what makes hard-work work. Most people are not patient enough to win. It takes effort and focus to overcome your obstacles. In the same way, most people are not patient enough to overcome those who are negative. It takes effort and lots of brain-gymnastics to be patient when surrounded by negativity. The more we develop our emotional awareness, the better we become at overcoming negativity in the workplace.
Back in Arizona – (or was it Alaska?) – after one especially successful week of positive sales and professional growth, our manager came in and said:
“just make sure they don’t all cancel”.
Our spirits immediately flattened.
All the good we had strived for was erased with those 7 words.
We had enough.
As a team we decided that it was time to take action.
So we – “the underlings” – realized that while we can’t change the boss, we can change ourselves. So we did.
We applied the principles of patience to everything we did and found that by consistently doing these 4 things our team’s situation dramatically improved:
- Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Your mind is powerful. You can completely focus on one thing at a time. If you notice a negative thought, replace it with something positive. Think of a recent win. Think about your greatest memory from your childhood. Be patient with yourself and with others when focusing on replacing your thoughts. It takes time to master this skill. We define our own personal existence. Our thoughts and feelings define our life experiences.
- Share positive stories. Stories open the mind and heart. Stories allow us to place ourselves in the shoes of other people. Stories help us develop empathy. By sharing positive stories, we can create a community while erasing doubt and uncertainty. Communicate positive stories frequently. Share stories. Share more stories. Be consistently patient for them to start working in increasing the positivity of those around you.
- Respect the opinions of others. Treat everyone you meet with respect. We are all humans and are all valuable. Show appreciation and respect the value of other people. Be honest but not rude. Ask for opinions even when they are not offered. When people feel valued they are live up to their potential. Be patient with people who have different opinions than yourself.
- Publicize everyone’s individual contributions, especially those who seem to have it all. Every needs validation, some people pretend they don’t, but they do. When each of us matter, we all become stronger. Help others by focusing on them, be patient in knowing your time will come, but now it is more important to help others first. By patiently helping others you’re also helping yourself.
Working with negative people is hard. Deciding what that negativity does to you is easy. Decide to not let it bother you. Decide to take positive action. Decide to be patient. With patience and positive action, you can correct almost any negative situation. Patience is a sign of emotional intelligence.
You are strong enough to decide who you are and what you think. Decide to overcome negativity by choosing your own meaning to every situation. Look for the good, look for the “can.” Decide to be better. Decide to help others.
We were on the 5th floor of our downtown corporate headquarters. It was our weekly sales meeting with bunch a uber-successful sales executives for our company. Our leader had been with the company since it was founded almost 30 years before. He was a legend. Young leaders can learn from experienced leaders on how to help others. This is what I learned:
Every week we had our “sales team call”. This call was to discuss opportunities, track progress and most importantly come up with solutions and make decisions. At least that is what I thought. Really it was the way our leader helped us overcome our challenges. Our leader would post a question to make it seem like he had a certain problem, or we as a team had that problem. In reality, he was addressing a specific personal issue one of us was facing. He knew what each of our strengths and weaknesses were and used these meetings to help us overcome our personal obstacles. He then would ask each of us for our own solutions and ideas. Everyone got to voice their opinion. Everyone felt heard. Our leader knew where he was going with the questioning and what would help us the most. The leader would pick and choose which answers made the most sense according to his years of experience and then he then would help us feel like we came up with the solution on our own. Then he would give us the confidence we needed and send us on our way. He lead us in the right direction. As a team we overcame challenges together. Our boss guided us and gave us the tools we needed. He was a true leader.
Good leaders have vision. Great leaders inspire. The BEST leaders have vision, inspire and help others overcome obstacles to accomplish the vision.
The “Best Leaders” do some things consistently:
- They Coach
- They Inspire Action
- They Provide Feedback
- They Show Extreme Patience
- They Are Never Jealous
- They Embrace Change
- They Show Gratitude
- They Are Open Minded
- They Help Others Develop Talents
- They Stand Up for Others
In order to build up these abilities it takes thoughtful practice. It takes being self-aware and exercising deliberate practice. A way to speed up self-awareness is by studying others and then comparing your actions to those who are already successful. You can do this by reading biographies and journaling.
First, read the biographies of people who have overcome great challenges. Then connect the the times they overcame the obstacles to the traits they were exhibiting. Next, journal your thoughts. Take a self-assessment of your current mindset. Dive deep and become more self-aware by writing down what you think and plan ahead for what you need to do to become better.
Self-awareness and gaining knowledge only becomes valuable when action is taken. Take action. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from others. Think. Ponder. Reflect. Focus on helping others take action. Use your vision to help others overcome their problems. Even the biggest walls can be torn down with enough help. Help others overcome the walls that are blocking their success. The more you help others succeed, the more you will succeed. Leaders are created. You become a better leader by helping others.
Problems and mistakes do not define you. They only allow yourself to write your story. Your actions are your story. Your “personal definition” is the summary of your actions.
Why do challenges and struggles make some people stronger and make others weaker? How is it that some teams/people come back from devastating defeats while others simply give-up? What are the keys that unlock potential?
These are the questions that former Navy SEAL Dennis McCormack and co-authors George Everly Jr., and Douglas Strouse, examine in their book ‘Stronger: Develop the Resilience You Need to Succeed‘. Resilience is an individual’s ability to properly adapt to adversity and stress. Adversity could be viewed as simply as any-time something does not go as planned or as complex as when there is someone actively trying to prevent you from accomplishing your goals.
People who display resilience are able to overcome setbacks and accomplish greatness. The authors state that the five characteristics needed to develop resilience are:
- Active Optimism. It is not just a belief, or idealistic view, but rather the ability to see the desired outcome that then creates positive action.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston S. Churchill
- Decisive Action. Once the optimism is in place, you must be decisive and act in order to recover from setbacks. You can and must gain the courage to make difficult decisions.
“…the cure for most obstacles is, Be decisive.” – George Weinberg
- Moral Compass. We must let integrity, honor, ethical actions, and fidelity guide our decisions under demanding circumstances.
“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” – Marcus Aurelius
- Relentless Tenacity: Determination. It is bring determined to finish and persistent enough to carry out your desires.
“Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown.” – H. Ross Perot
- Interpersonal Support. It is important to know who is on your team and how they support you.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
As achievers and dreamers, we have goals. How do we reach them? How do we achieve our objectives? Some people have begun to call resilience by another word, they call it grit. One of the pioneers in this field of study is Angela Duckworth. Through her research Dr. Duckworth has found that grit is the quality that enables individuals to work hard and stick to their long-term passions and goals amidst obstacles.
In one of my favorite books, Mindset, by Carol Dweck, the author teaches:
“…no matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”
These Secrets are the 6 Keys to Developing Personal Resilience (Grit)
- Always Take Action – inertia is powerful. The more time is wasted, the weaker our resolve becomes. Fortune favors the bold. Doing is always best.
- Always Release Stress/Tension – find a way to unwind and express emotions: draw, journal, meditate, speak to a personal friend, exercise, create art, write letters to others….
- Always Be Learning – learn from mistakes, learn from success, learn from others (watch, observe, ask questions, read)
- Always Stay Connected – people who are resilient have other people they rely on. Be that friend for others. Make emotional deposits into your friendship bank for a time when you might be low.
- Always Adapt – be flexible. Our expectations often dictate our emotional response, expect change and adapt to the current reality.
- Always Follow Your Why – know and understand your purpose, your true motivation. When the storms of life are raging, your “why”, your purpose becomes the safe haven, the place you can always retreat to, regroup, and then start again. Follow your own desires, not those of others.
We will always be facing obstacles. The ability to overcome these challenges is what leads to success. Resilience is the strength to overcome setbacks and press forward with a singular focus and dedicated purpose. In order to achieve your own personal greatness – make sure to work hard, feel your emotions, learn, help others, adjust, and stay grounded with your values.
If you own something mentally, no one can ever take it from you. Own your mistakes. Own your failures. Own your wins. Own your relationships. Make them yours. Our true success is determined by our relationships and experiences. Relationships are either growing or dying. Make sure yours are growing.
We are what we think about. We manifest our innermost thoughts by the actions we take. Our professional and personal relationships are also a direct reflection of our thoughts regarding the relationship. If a relationship is in a bad state, trying to determine who is at fault is your first mistake. My wife taught me that one. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is, that is just wasting time. Your actions determine your outcomes.
When we understand ourselves, we can begin to understand others. Justin Bariso helps us understand the value of emotional intelligence when making decisions regarding relationships:
“Emotional intelligence involves the ability to recognize and understand your emotions, and to use that information to guide decision making.”
“Your ability to become a master relationship builder is critical…This is not just about adapting to behavioral styles it’s about understanding people.”
When you work toward making sure the other person’s needs and desires are being met, you can truly begin to understand the person and the situation. This is emotional intelligence in action, or emotional competence. Knowing when the problem is too big to surpass is part of emotional intelligence. Then acting on that knowledge is what helps us separate bad relationships from good. This is emotional competence. Knowing when to keep pushing takes emotional intelligence. If the relationship is worth fighting for, don’t give up. Keep working, keep helping the other person “win”. When a leader creates winners, everybody becomes a winner. Strong relationships produce winners.
When you have problems in a relationship it is probably because You:
- Talked too much…
- Didn’t listen (because you were talking, or wanting to talk)…
- Thought your needs were more important than the other person’s needs…
- Forgot the purpose of the relationship…
- Stopped nurturing the relationship…
- Made yourself the “hero” instead of them…
You have done those things. I have done those things. We need to stop doing those things. Once you put the needs of the other person, team, company etc. at the front of your concern, your entire perspective changes. You will sell more. You will have more fun. Your spouse will like you more. You will have better relationships.
Andrew Sobel’s book, Power Relationships is a game changer. He teaches that there are 26 laws for building solid relationships and that that when building “deep personal relationships” their are 4 rules that specifically apply:
- Vulnerability is Power (law #16)
- Enthusiasm is Contagious (law #24)
- Change the Environment and You’ll Deepen the Relationship (law #12)
- There’s always something, no matter how small, that you can do to help the people around you. (law #14)
These timeless “laws” help us understand how our own actions have enormous influence on the the relationships we are trying to build.
4 More Ways to Build Great Relationships:
Collaborate & Communicate (not to share your ideas, but to learn and understand THEIRS)
“Nobody succeeds for long in a silo. Whatever our ventures…we can’t forget all the people who are involved in and essential to our success…Those who succeed learn from their mistakes and from the people around them…The most successful collaborators understand how to communicate respectfully and accurately.” – Faisal Hoque
Care (if you care, they KNOW, they can FEEL it)
“It only takes a second to make another person feel valued, yet the effect can last a lifetime.” – Jeff Haden
Continue Pressing Forward (no solid relationship was BUILT by a quitter)
“Mental toughness: it is believing I would prevail in my circumstances rather than believing my circumstances would change.” – LaRae Quy
Contribute (provide VALUE)
“If you help others get what they want, they will help you get what you want.” – Lolly Daskal
Putting it all together: The more we help other people, the stronger our relationships become. The strength of our relationships are is directly proportional to the amount of influence we have. As we increase our ability to build relationships through emotional intelligence our personal desire to help others naturally increases. As the influential Josh Steimle says:
“Building great relationships takes time and work and presence.”
We must put in the effort. It will be hard, and it will take time. Yet, the results will come. The more people we help, the better relationships we have and the more successful we become.