Friday, October 31, 2008

playing nice

My mother used to tell me to play nice in the sandbox. I don't always know if that was the best advice (I remember coming home with a few bloody noses), but I do know that if we as leaders want to accompish the tasks before us, we MUST play nice with those who work with us.

Let me give an example - sitting in a recent meeting, I watched as one of my colleagues blamed and berated others for not doing what he wanted them to do. Never mind that he had failed to ask (nicely?) for the information in the past - he merely assumed he should have the information and if he did not have it, then it was someone else's fault. I thought to myself, "just be nice - and you wil get everything you're asking for." Yes, my mother's voice was still in my head.

What does it look like when we're nice to others?
  • we ask questions rather than make statements
  • we assume that people are trying to help us rather than frustrate us
  • we say "please" and "thank you"
  • we ask ourselves whether or not WE might be at fault
  • we consider the reasonableness of our requests
  • we show empathy and consider the needs of the other person
  • we realize our needs and requests may not be the most important thing to others
  • we take responsibility for what we want and need
  • we don't use words like MUST or SHOULD or NEVER
  • we practice patience

Maybe my mom was right (of course she was). I think I will practice being nice to others, so I can get what I want and need. And the really cool thing is that when I do this, others will get what they want and nbeed from me also. Not a bad way to make a living!

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