Jacky Leonard's blog

Archive entries for: Dec-2014

Good will to all?

Categories:  Business Coaching, Effective Communication, Training & Coaching, Life Balance and Wellbeing

Strong people don't put others down. They lift them up.              Michael P Watson 

The weather’s getting colder and the long dark winter days can sometimes have an adverse effect on your mood.  Are you still managing to radiate warmth, positive energy and good vibrations or are you guilty of intolerance, impatience and irritability…often to those you care about most?  In the latter state, it’s easy to find yourself slipping into a self-righteous, holier than thou attitude, judging people on their behaviour, rather than their intentions.  It’s not pretty and can lead to bad feeling, frustration and conflict.

It’s easy to judge others.  You may even feel you’re doing it with the best possible intentions, based on your own high standards, core values and personal moral compass…but who’s to say you’re right?  These measures could very well be right for you, however they may be completely off the mark for the person you’re ‘evaluating.’ 

One NLP (Nero Linguistic Programming) pre-supposition states:

People do the best they can with the resources they have available

Just imagine how different you’re attitude and approach to others might be if you truly believed this statement.  It does offer an alternative perspective and if adopted could enable you to seek the intentions behind the behaviour and help you reserve judgement. 

As you head towards Christmas with the message of ‘goodwill to all men…and women’ ringing in your ears, perhaps it’s worth considering what you could say, or what you might do for a friend, family member or colleague each day that will help to lift them up, as opposed to put them down.  What do you like about them, what do they do well, how do they contribute positively to you or others?  For a change, notice what they do right…and tell them. Try a compliment, rather than a complaint or criticism. 

It’s not as easy as it may sound.  Firstly, you may not be used to doing it.  Secondly people aren’t used to receiving compliments…they may feel awkward, or embarrassed and not know how to respond. They may even be suspicious of your motives, particularly if they are not used to receiving positive comments or reinforcements from you.

A good way to help them accept what you’ve said is to follow the compliment – question method:

Pay them a compliment, then follow it up with a question.

As they’ll be focussed on answering the question they won’t question the compliment.

It might sound something like this…

“Thank you for dealing with that complaint, you responded perfectly.  How did you develop such good listening skills?”

Or

“I really like that jacket you’re wearing, that colour really suits you.  Where did you buy it?”

Following this approach should mean you get less “Do you really think so?”  “What, this old thing?” responses and you’ll leave the person feeling really good having taken the compliment in the manner it was intended.

My new good habit (starting today) is to pay someone a genuine compliment every day.

What will you do today to lift someone’s spirits?