What You Seek is What You Find – Simple Step #4

Focusing on the positive is a key to this belief.  Here is the 2nd of the 3 Simple Steps for this Foundational Belief. 

If you are a practical person you may prefer the “Seek Knowledge” approach in Simple Step #4.

Simple Step #4   Seek Knowledge

Getting to know your co-workers, relatives & friends is a simple and practical way to improve your perspective.  When you learn about what is important to them, what motivates them, the challenges that they may be dealing with, you are more likely to see their actions as honorable…not as a challenge.

The process for this Simple Step is more of a fact-finding mission.  For each key person in your work and personal life:


1)       Schedule lunch or at least a coffee date with them.  If it’s a work associate go out somewhere rather than a break or lunchroom.  This will set up a more comfortable place to talk.

2)       Tell them honestly that since you will be spending more time together that you want to get to know them better.  If this is a co-worker or other business associate tell them that you are interested building a strong relationship that will enable you both to be successful. The key here is to keep the conversation relaxed.  This is not an inquisition.  Your goal is to understand what makes them tick…and what ticks them off!

3)        When you find yourself in a situation with your friend or business associate that doesn’t seem to be progressing the way that you hoped step back and recall their motivation.  Look for solutions that will play to that motivation.  When they see that you are doing so because of what is important to them…they will respond in kind.

Take a look at these examples of how increasing your knowledge works.

  • Lacy is always meddling in her sister Vicki’s marriage telling her how to be a “good” wife. Vicki becomes annoyed with her and doesn’t know how to tell her to butt out!  Vicki takes the time to talk to her sister.  She learns that Lacy is having troubles in her own marriage and doesn’t know what to do. Lacy and Vicki end up growing a stronger relationship where they can discuss their marriages and “let off some steam.”
  • Connie is a vendor partner who is responsible for servicing the printers at your location.  She is often abrupt with your team and while she does a good job no one likes to see her come through the door. You ask her to have a cup of coffee with you.  As you sit and chat you learn that she has 5 other accounts that she has to take care of on the same day as she comes to your office.  She is new to her job and her boss made it clear that she should not interrupt her customer’s work.  When she comes into your office she is trying to respect your business and get in and out without disrupting anyone. You take the opportunity to tell her that outsourcing the printers has not been a popular decision for your team. You ask her if she could plan some time in her schedule to talk to your team about her role.  Connie is grateful for the opportunity and during that meeting your team gets to see that Connie is really a nice person trying to do the job that your company hired her to do.  Next time she comes into your office she greats your staff by name and asks them if she can help them with anything.

When you have knowledge of what makes someone tick it makes understanding their motives far easier and brings a sense of peace to their actions. Spending a few moments trying to understand someone can make a world of difference when you are looking for the good in others.

Tomorrow we will look at Simple Step #5 “Re-frame Your Perspective, the last of the Simple Steps for the Foundational Principle “What You Seek is What You Find.”

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