Focusing on the positive is a key to this belief and this is the last Simple Steps to help you refocus your thoughts.
Simple Step #5 Re-frame Your Perspective
This Simple Step requires that you change your frame of mind. Make the assumption that everyone you encounter wants to do good things. If you start with this foundation you look for ways to help them. Whether it is spending more time teaching them a better way to do a task or cutting them a little slack – by assuming that they come forth to do good – you’ll realize that any “tweaks” in your relationship, the job, or the process are just that…tweaks. And tweaks are easier to deal with than assuming that you have to implode “what is” and go back to ground zero.
The process for this is straightforward. When you encounter a difficult person:
1) Breathe. This is an ideal time to count to 10 (silently of course) if the situation is immediate. If it is an ongoing issue prepare for your next interaction with the person.
2) See the person as being positively motivated. Whatever negative thought you may have, choose the polar opposite one.
3) Respond with kindness and support. Ask what you can do to help, offer solutions or just be a sounding board.
Here are some examples of how this Simple Step works:
- Ellen is a brilliant worker. She works very hard every day and oftentimes spends far too much time in the office. She always has her hand in every project which seems controlling and out of line. If you worked with Ellen you might want to sit back and ask yourself, why is she always in everyone business? Instead of assuming she is a control freak see Ellen as someone who wants to be a valuable team member. If you are a co-worker ask Ellen if you can provide her with any assistance. Tell her that you want to be a valued team member and offer to do some of the tasks that she has taken on. Ask her if she would be willing to mentor you. If you are her manager use your one on one time with Ellen to voice your appreciation for her dedication. Ask her to help mentor other team members by giving them some of her tasks and coaching them. Knowing that you value her input supports her ongoing dedication.
- Your brother Jim is 10 years older than you. Every time you see him, he complains about how easy you had it, and how hard your parents were on him. When you make a decision about anything that he considers significant he calls to tell you that you are making a mistake and then proceeds to tell you what you should do. While you love your brother his opinions are not appreciated. You’ve decided to buy a new car and he’s on the phone telling you what a bad choice you are making. You knew that this was going to happen and this time you are prepared for him. Thank Jim. Tell him that you know that he only has your best interest in mind. Tell him that you have been researching cars for several weeks and that you have read the reviews from Consumer Reports and Car & Driver magazine. You also asked the family mechanic (who works on Jim’s cars too) for advice. In the end you chose the car that met all of the key criteria that knew were important in making this investment. You end the call on that strong note. Perhaps you will call him back and ask him if he wants to go with you when you pick up your new car. (Or not…)
When you believe in the goodness of others you open your heart to embrace the joy in your relationship. You see the positive and can actually appreciate what they bring to your life.
Next week I’ll introduce you to the 4th Foundational Principle, ” Happiness Is a Choice.”