2020 will be a year of great challenge and great opportunity. Division and drama are at an all time high. Globally 85% of workers are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. Yet everywhere we travel around the world, leaders tell us they are craving positive connections and authentic relationships. They are tired of the drain and want their energy back! They are looking for a better way.
Happy New Year! I want to send out a heartfelt thank you to all of my subscribers. I appreciate your support, your comments, and this remarkable community of people who care about better communication and more compassion at work. In keeping with tradition, here are the most read posts from my blog in 2019.
I often feel indignant when people don’t give me the benefit of the doubt, or question my intentions. I know my intentions are good, even if I didn’t say it quite right or made a mistake in how I handled something. “After all we’ve been through, are you seriously questioning me?”
Here’s the hard reality.
Trust should never be assumed, and it must be earned in every interaction.
The danger of expecting that people will trust me is that I get complacent about making trust money deposits, and careless about withdrawals.
Trust Money Deposits
- Declaring my intentions, every time
- Listening to understand
- Validating someone else’s experience
- Getting curious
- Caring about the person as much as the task
- Following through on commitments
- Apologizing for mistakes
Trust money deposits help support me when I do make a mistake or behave in an unexpected way.
But trust money withdrawals are very costly. Trust money takes a long time to earn, and a very short time to spend.
Trust Money Withdrawals
- Focusing more on the task than the person
- Discounting or redefining someone else’s experience
- Making excuses
- Blaming others
- Turning conversations into competitions
- Breaking promises
- Minimizing your own mistakes
- Making it personal when it doesn’t need to be
How To Keep A Positive Trust Money Account
- Never expect someone to give you the benefit of the doubt, so leave them no doubt about your intentions.
- Make trust money deposits in every interaction.
- Minimize trust money withdrawals.
Compassion is the practice of demonstrating that people are valuable, capable, and responsible. Compassion builds trust.
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2019
December 2-9 ONLY
I do a lot of keynote presentations. I get between 45-75 minutes to engage and audience, inspire them to try something new, and give them practical nuggets they can use immediately. I’ve learned through experience that the best keynotes don’t try to cover too much material; one main message and one or two key takeaways.
I’m a guest on a lot of podcasts. Although we might cover a lot of content in 30-45 minutes, one of the most common wrap-up questions I get asked is, “What is one thing our listeners can do right away to bring more compassion to their lives?”
Here’s my answer, my one nugget that will make the biggest difference.
If you apply just one thing from my presentation or interview, do this: Disclose your emotional end-game.
Most of us want to feel happy, secure, safe, confident, connected, respected, competent, or valued. This is the emotional end-game, our emotional motives. These are OK. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel happy or connected or competent.
Much of what we do every day is in service of these motives. When they are threatened, we step up our efforts.
Very rarely, though, do we tell anyone about them. We argue in meetings, inexplicably advocate for certain outcomes, maneuver relationships, and engage in all sorts of passive-aggressive or passive-avoidant behaviors in service of our emotional motives. All while keeping the end-game secret from others.
Why we hide our emotional end-game
- Afraid that others won’t care about it
- Worry that others will reject us for it
- Don’t believe we deserve to get it
- We’ve trained ourselves to avoid emotions
Why it’s the right, best thing to do
- It’s the truth, so be honest
- It lets others help you
- It builds trust and connection
- It leads to better decision-making
- It cleans up communication
- It stops passive-aggressive and passive-avoidant behavior
Compassion means treating yourself and others as valuable, capable, and responsible. Disclosing your emotional end-game is the compassionate thing to do.
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2019
Have you ever heard these phrases at work?
- I had no choice.
- You left me no option.
- Have you had a chance to review the email I sent?
- You made me angry.
- I have to move our appointment.
- If it’s not too much trouble.
- What do we want to do next?
Never underestimate the power of inhibitions. How many times in your life have you been told “Don’t,” “You shouldn’t,” or “You can’t?” Did it start early in your life with a parent, caregiver, teacher, or coach? Do you remember how you felt? Did you internalize these messages? How much have those limitations inhibited you throughout your life?
I’m genuinely sorry this happened to you. It’s unfortunate that people who cared about you and wanted to protect you said these things. This is tragic.
Because you were meant to thrive. And fly. And make a ruckus.
I get a lot of requests to write about Donald Trump’s personality. Let’s start with an update to two articles I wrote in 2016 during Donald Trump’s campaign for president.
Trump is good. I mean, really good. When it comes to imposing his will on others, without their awareness or permission, Trump is one of the best I’ve ever seen in this generation. Webster defines manipulation like this:
Manipulation is to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage.
I admire self-aware, centered people who just seem to have it all figured out. And, sometimes they drive me crazy when they don’t DO anything about it. They act like being mindful is enough, all by itself.
Mindfulness is a powerful practice to gain awareness, accept and manage emotions, and get centered. It helps you turn and face internal experiences with openness and curiosity instead of judgment.
Call center managers from one of the nation’s largest car rental companies are using The Compassion Mindset to engage differently at work. In this video, reveal two surprisingly simple, but remarkably effective strategies they are are using to help their employees succeed.
I get more and more agitated every time I hear about a new philanthropy giving millions of dollars to a needy cause. I’m tired of another heroic act of altruism by Bill Gates. I’m done with servant leadership.
Don’t get me wrong. I admire the heck out of Bill Gates, the Dali Lama, and Mother Teresa. And I try to focus every day on serving others. My problem is that these beacons of compassion have set the bar too high and created an unrealistic view of what compassion is. This is especially true in today’s complex workplace.
Leaders who practice self-less compassion are headed for burnout.
Compassion comes from the Latin root meaning “to suffer with.”
- alleviating suffering
- suffering instead of
- solving the problem for someone else
- taking over responsibility
- having sympathy
- giving til it hurts
- putting your needs on hold indefinitely
- becoming equally vulnerable and transparent
- honoring your own needs in order to stay healthy
- taking care of you so you show up ready to serve
- being available but not taking over
- leveraging their gifts as well as yours
- building capability and capacity, not dependence
- knowing your why, and sticking to it
- enforcing your boundaries
- holding others accountable too
Compassion is a two-way street that sees self and others as valuable, capable, and responsible. If you compromise any one of these three, drama might be just around the corner.
We need more role models that practice the full definition of compassion. Do you know any? Will you share in the comments?