Listen, Empathize, Give A Little

A colleague was talking to me about negotiating and working with others:


He said something I liked: 


Listen, empathize, and give a little. 


Yes, we each have our beliefs and positions on things.


But we don’t live in a vacuum.


Other people have their own views, sensitivities, and wants. 


We have to get along so we can work together, and get things done. 


It starts by listening–not just hearing, but really listening to what the other person is saying. 


But that’s not really enough. 


To really understand the other person, we have to try to empathize with what they are feeling–we need to try to walk in their shoes even if just for a moment. 


But that also isn’t enough. 


We can’t have it all our way–we need to give a little to get a little. 


No one can have everything and have a good relationship like that. 


We need to compromise–as long as it’s not on things of integrity, conviction, or G-d. 


Everything else we have to listen, empathize, and give a little.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who’s Da Boss

Boss

At work, we all report to somebody–no matter high up the chain you go. 


IMHO, I think it’s always important to remember though who the Big Boss is and He/She is the top of the food chain and is the one who really calls ALL the shots–and if you keep that in mind, you can show proper respect to your boss at work and follow their lead without falling on your sword in human antiauthoritarian revolt. 


Thus, in the earthly world, the boss in the corner office and on the high floor is the one who tells you what to do at work. 


Of course, the cardinal sin of management is be a micromanager–EVERYONE hates that and just wants to be told the goal but then let loose to get the job done–and not stood over and berated on how to do it and torn apart for everything they did [differently] “wrong” than perhaps their boss would’ve done it in their self-presumed all-knowing wisdom. 


Also, bosses who laud their boss status over their subordinates by telling and showing them how bossy boss with information and power, belittling them, they are–often these people are resented by the “plebeian workers” and as in the servitude of Egypt thousands of years ago, the Big Boss hears their prayers for justice and meets it out accordingly. 


The best bosses are human, humble, and admit mistakes, see people as children of G-d, have compassion, and treat their workers with due respect; genuinely listens to others, are inclusive, and values what each person brings to the table; says thank you and means it; looks for opportunities to recognize and reward people; and treat people as teammates and not indentured servants. 


Certainly, workers have a responsibility too–to give it their best and keep their commitments; to respect the “chain of command”; to tell it the way it is with some modicum of diplomacy and keep their bosses fully informed, to not demand the unreasonable or play games with the rules (that everyone at work lives under); and to generally be collegial and a team player 


One colleague on an interview told me that they were asked a really smart, tough question that put them on the spot, “Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with management?”


That could be a telling question or answer depending who’s been naughty and nice at the office. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Like A Rock Star

Rock Star
It’s funny that people derive so much of their self esteem from others. 



If someone says something nice to/about them, then they feel on top of the world–full of worth, productive, successful, confident.



And when someone says something negative, then they get down in the dumps–depreciated, questioning, can’t do anything right, like a failure.



Yet, it the same person inside–the same heart, the same soul.



Of course, we are impacted by our behavior (when we do good and not) and people’s reactions to it–and we should be–it’s a helpful feedback mechanism to let us know when we are messing up or as reinforcement to continue doing good things. 



But at the same time, people’s feedback is not always correct or well-intentioned and certainly it doesn’t necessarily represent holistically who we are…it’s just a snapshot in time. 



So we need to take what people say and reflect back to us with a grain of salt–listen, try to understand, but also look at the bigger picture of you. 



You know yourself better than anyone else, so incorporate the feedback and use it to improve, but don’t get bogged down by any person, event, or cheap talk.  



Yes, you can be a rock star, by reflecting from what others tell you, but more importantly by listening to that voice inside that guides you. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)