How often do you define yourself by your weaknesses?
Actions matter. Every day, you are consciously and unconsciously teaching others how to treat each other in social interactions. The real question is what you are teaching. Are you teaching others to be self-reliant, altruistic and helpful, or are you teaching them to be selfish and dependent? Analyzing your own behavior can give you insights into your character in this regard.
I believe we teach each other how to be with each other. Each and every interaction—what we say, do and allow others to do in our presence—sends a message on what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Our interactions with each other give clues as to what you like and don’t like. Trust is based on our ability to predict how you will respond to us.
So what are your words telling others about you?
For lots of reasons, we focus on our weaknesses. But focusing on them and using them as a calling card is risky business. I started thinking about this because a friend told me…
“You know I have old timers and just can’t remember these things. We have to have someone write down and distribute the notes from our meetings. After all, you can’t expect me to remember what was said and agreed to.”
So what am I to think? Did s/he really want me to see them as someone I can’t trust to remember our conversations and agreements? Do they really want me micromanaging them?
Can you be a good manager or leader if you tell people “I hate conflict?” Change creates tension and dramatic change creates conflict. Good leaders, not just great leaders, have disagreements. We avoid what we hate which leads me to ask, “Can you be a good manager or leader if you avoid conflict?”
“My boss never tells me how I’m doing.” With over 60 percent of employees feeling like performance appraisals are unfair and about 72 percent of managers hating the process, it’s no wonder nearly 75 percent of employees are moderately to fully disengaged at work. Why? Because they get lousy feedback from their managers.
“This place is so political. I don’t like politics at work so I spend my time doing my work.” When I hear people say this, I wonder: is it politics you don’t like or do you dislike promoting your career? Do you believe that if you do great work then you’ll be rewarded? Do you disregard the fact that people make decisions about your work based on what they know about you and what they know you did to get the job done? If they don’t know that, then how can you be fairly judged for your work?
The next time you leave the house, think about the messages you are unconsciously sending others. Are they good or bad? If you don’t like them, it’s up to you to change them.