Title: See People
Quote: What we see depends mainly on what we look for. ~ John Lubbock
Activist. Artist. Brother. Builder. Dreamer. Educator. Excutive. Father. Friend. Motivator. Networker. Planner. Team Mate. Trainer. Traveller. Who am I?
Words are powerful to help describe who someone is, as pictures are powerful to reveal something of their persona. Without ever meeting them, you can read about someone, listen to them, watch them, study them, and yet still not know them. There is a value in human touch, in face to face encounters with other people, which goes beyond the power of cyberspace. Nothing is as powerful as a living, engaged encounter with another person.
Stop reading right now, and look around you. Who can you see? Maybe, like I am, you’re alone in an office – how far would you need to go to encounter a person? When you do, step outside of your comfort zone and work at seeing and connecting with the next person you see.
In my role, there are multiple personalities engaged in multiple diverse activities. This can be particularly challenging when my attention-to-details personality encounters one who is off on a mission. Understanding personality differences can help encounters become an exploration rather than a competition or conflict.
A little empathy goes a long way. Try standing in the other person’s shoes before responding to them – not just their role, but their experiences, the other situations in their life, the other people influencing them,all create filters that may be very different from yours. Finding out about these may be very useful. I couldn’t understand why an employee kept apologising for the smallest things. When a little of her background was shared with me, I discovered she had had to overcome some serious issues, and I realised she was doing really well, and this was a part of her journey forward.
When things aren’t right, they are not right, and sometimes you hit situations with people which create tension and conflict. Learning to tackle the problem not the person is huge. Openness in your viewpoint with respect to the other, and working side by side to overcome the problem are skills which I was not brought up with. Skills like these can be developed, and mixed with a solid dose of never taking things personally, go a long way to resolving differences in perspective.
Use perception when engaging people. If someone says they’re ok, but their head is bowed and their voice flat when they are usually a bubbly personality, that’s a fairly obvious sign. Others are less easy, but as you pay attention to the details of the people around you, those details form a bigger picture. It can make a world of difference to a team-mate when you notice the world they live in beyond your workplace – from engaging about a sports team, to sharing recipes or asking after family, the details of their life matter, and give you a platform for connecting which develops relationship and team loyalty.
People like people who like them, and who like the things they like. Find something in common to engage on. Look for the things you like in people and be quick to comment on them, being very specific in how it makes a difference. This week began on a high for us with an unsolicited testimonial from someone who is not even a client – they had received our Learning BITES from a friend. He shared specifically how his team had applied the point made to increase their leads from an opportunity almost to 4 times as many as usually attained. That single encounter has given so much fuel to our team as our primary motivation is to change lives so people embrace the exceptional in their own lives. It was an exceptional outcome.
Enjoy the people you work and live with. The day to day rubbing shoulders, learning and growing together, working on a common goal is what makes life so good, worthwhile and rewarding. Make it a great day!