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Do You Complain or Influence?

The election is behind us as are the incessant political ads. Many will be looking forward with a focus on what can be accomplished. Many will be focused on the past and things that cannot be changed.  And many people will be focused on what terrible things might occur because they are not too happy with the results.

I have some clients like that.

  • Some focus on what is possible. They tend to be optimistic but focused on the day, week, month, year ahead.
  • Some focus on the past. They review the things that were not done well, the mistakes that were made, and nurse grievances. Our conversations contain a review of the slights and insults that they carry with them wherever they go.
  • Some focus on the terrible future that waits close by due to the promotion of someone who in their estimation is not qualified and incapable of getting the job done.

Each perspective comes with different level of engagement, job satisfaction and output.

It can be very difficult to work through disappointment.  When you fall in love with what could happen,  it’s hard to accept that it won’t happen.

I think that aligning with the reality as it is instead of spending time complaining can give you a chance to influence things. Dale Carnegie was pretty clear about the basics of influencing others:

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

The amped up vitriol I see on social media sites leaves little room for influence or meaningful dialogue. It won’t open people up to explore alternatives or listen. In all likelihood it will only result in ‘unfriending’ and deletions.

When you have a group of people who all have their own agenda, it’s not uncommon to lose site of a key learning that comes from working in groups: to create a consensus and work together, it is a great help to create an agenda that includes the best ideas that will accomplish those agreed upon goals.

In order to get agreed upon ideas, strategies and tactics, it helps to have agreed upon goals.

In order to have agreed upon goals, it helps to learn what each person’s goals are and why.

In order to learn that, it’s good to ask questions and then listen to the answer.

In order to do that, people could sit down together and work toward gaining clarity about the desired outcome and result.

We have a lot to do.



This entry was posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2012 at 7:46 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.