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This is perfect for someone I know

This would be perfect for someone I know

I noticed something interesting when I speak to groups or when someone reads my books and provides feedback.  There is a common reaction that points to external examples that could benefit from the lessons that I teach.  

Usually someone approaches me and says that they enjoyed what I have to say and they know someone that “could REALLY benefit” from hearing it.  They tend to go on about the specifics and what areas they feel they are weakest at.

I have found two problems with this.  First, telling someone they aren’t good enough at something that is common sense is an insult that will not inspire and motivate that person to take action.  They will likely meet a suggestion with skepticism.

Second, looking at others to change is not the best answer.  It isn’t about what can others do to improve.  It is about what I can do to improve.  

I completely understand this thinking and many times have said to myself that “someone I know should really be hearing this message” at a seminar.  The ironic thing is that those that need it most are usually the most resistant to it.  

Therefore, focusing on who represents the worst case scenario is pointless.  Instead try to look for specific things that you can do to improve.  The more I reach personal and professional development I realize that the most impactful attitude to have is the one that internalizes the message and looks for specific ways to improve.

Because many of the concepts that I discuss are basic principles there is an inherent opportunity to affect others with them.  The best way that I have found is to simply support the other person and only offer advice when they ask.  This can be difficult but I try to never offer suggestions to someone struggling without a direct or indirect ask for advice.  

The other way to impact others around you in a positive way is to improve yourself, but focus on staying humble.  If you do those two things others around you will notice and ask what you have done to get to where you are.  At that point you can share any insight or recommendations in a way that shows how you accomplished the goal and suggestions that might help them.  

Lastly, when it comes to those working for you or those you have direct responsibility for, such as your children.  It may seem that you can simply force them to do what you want and to follow your advice.  I, as well as most parents, teachers and managers, have found that the positive effect of this is limited.  

Most situations would benefit from a coaching or collaborative leadership style and studies have proved this to be the case.  When measuring culture of an organization or team, the coercive leader is least effective at developing a positive culture that will benefit the organization.  The best style is actually to rely on various leadership methods and use the best one for the situation, similar to a golfer choosing the best club for the shot.  

Just as a putting golfer would never use a driver, the effective leader understands when a forceful authoritative leadership style is necessary and when a coaching style is more appropriate.  

Regardless of what the message is, always try to be open to ways that you can improve.  Others may seem to be in need of these concepts, but until you have mastered them it can be difficult to show others how much they can benefit from them.  Start with yourself and work to improve rather than looking for those around you that have weaknesses.