And Most Fools Do

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Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. In today’s world of self-help and learning how to engage with people, this is the book that started it all. It was the first of it’s kind – written in 1936!

This particular lesson from the book stuck with me over the years. It is a reminder that if I want to be different than most of the other people in my sphere of influence, I need to stay focused on building people up, encouraging them, helping them achieve their goals and being an example of strong character, self-control and demonstrate what forgiveness and grace looks like in conjunction with accountability.

Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I have played the fool much too often…

You see, it is EASY to criticize. That takes no brain power. Someone looks different, dressed different, stutters, bad haircut, forgets to put on deodorant one day, cooks fish in the microwave at work, lives in the wrong part of town, talks funny, the list goes on. This is usually driven by fear of the unknown (Ignorance).

It is EASY to condemn. Also known as “Plank Eye Disease.” (Matthew 7:3) Also driven by fear.

It is EASY to complain… oh so easy… Just scroll through your social media for 10 seconds and you will see someone complaining about something…

I was doing some research yesterday for a round table discussion I am participating in next Friday about managing those who do not report to you – specifically as it pertains to trainers, project managers, etc. In doing this research, I came across a training on Lynda.com – Influencing Others with John Ullmen – and in one module he talked about Results, Relationship and Reputation. If you are not sure how to reflect character and self-control, or to be understanding and forgiving, maybe this will help you as much as it has helped me. (I am paraphrasing based on what I took out of the training)

RESULTS: They are important and always out in front of everyone. Results are celebrated and therefore drive behavior more than they probably should.

RELATIONSHIP & REPUTATION: Both are equally important as results, but are often muted or simply overlooked in the shadow and excitement of the achieved results.

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Warren Buffet

“This is why the best influencers think about long-term implications even in their short-term actions. They drive for results with vigor and they care just as vigorously about how they get those results. In every influence interactions don’t just go for results. Strive also to strengthen your relationships and reputation.” – John Ullmen

John goes on to describe a daily exercise that will help keep the other 2 R’s front and center at all times. Before you find yourself interacting with another person or group, Ask:

BEFORE: How can I strive to build relationships and create a basis for a positive reputation in this interaction?

DURING: Will what I am about to say or do increase people’s trust and respect, and my own credibility? If what I am about to say or do were being recorded on video and audio, would I be proud to have others whose opinions matter to me see this recording?

AFTER: Review your behaviors and ask – Did I conduct myself with integrity, clarity and respect? Did my presence leave others better off after dealing with me than they were before? Do I need to follow-up on any misunderstandings, mistakes or missed opportunities?

Hopefully, you can see how these simple questions can help guide you towards a life of influence by building others up in and through relationship, demonstrating self-control and building a solid reputation that will ultimately serve your results.

If you have any insight, examples or commentary about the topic of the round table discussion I am participating in next week (Managing those who do not report to you), feel free to leave in the comments below.

Be blessed!

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