Every week I try to share a Tip that will help you in your personal life and business. Some of the Tips are fun and some are challenging, but all of them are meant to be helpful. This week’s Tip is no exception. Yet, I must warn you, the concept that I am about to share with you is easier said than done.
All of us have been in situations where things did not go the way we thought they should have gone. When that happens, it is so easy to point our finger at another person and blame them for the situation. However, I have discovered that does absolutely no good because even if you blame someone else, you still aren’t any closer to being able to resolve the issue you are facing. Let me give you a couple of examples to show you what I mean.
Our physical address at Personality Insights is 1741 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta, Georgia, 30068. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t give that information to someone by phone. Over the years, I have been amazed to see how the word “Lower” is spelled by different people. The most common way that I see it misspelled is “Lour”. Now, it would be easy for me to make fun of people or blame them for not knowing how to spell that word. However, I have discovered that if I point my finger at myself and make it crystal clear as to how to spell that word, it hardly ever gets misspelled. I honestly believe that I can help another person not make a mistake if I will ask myself what I can do to head off a problem before it occurs. When I share our address with someone, I usually say, “1741 Lower…not upper, but Lower…” and then I spell out the word “L-o-w-e-r”. Every time I do that, the word is spelled correctly.
Now I know that you may think this is silly and totally unnecessary, but I have found that if I practice this concept in one area of my life, it isn’t long until I am doing it in three or four other areas of my life as well. I make it a practice to ask myself what I can do to prevent the problem from occurring. Mistakes are going to happen, but if I see that there is a mistake that constantly repeats itself, then I am in a better position to help others not make that mistake – especially if it is going to affect me, my life, and my business.
Let me give you another example. People give me phone numbers on a daily basis. I am amazed at how fast they rattle off all ten digits in one breath as though I am recording the conversation! Well, nothing could be further from the truth. I am usually just getting my pen and paper ready by the time they have finished giving me the number! How hard would it be to slow down just a little bit and be considerate of the person taking the number? Before you do that to someone, ask yourself if you could even write the number down as fast as you are giving it out. Again, that may seem very silly, but I want to help other people. I want to add to their day. I want to be an encouragement and a blessing, not someone who simply tries to get other people to move at my speed. I want to point the finger at myself and do what I can to help the situation.
When we point at another person, we are blaming them for their actions. However, when we point back to ourselves, we are accepting personal responsibility. We are trying to see what we can do to make a situation better.
Finally, and you have heard me say it before, I usually ask a person if they will repeat back to me what I just said so that I can be certain I was clear. Notice that I put the responsibility on myself for clarity. It would be rude to say, “Tell me what I just said, because I don’t think you were listening!” Doing this has helped me avoid misunderstanding and frustration.
All of these Tips are meant to be helpful. You can use them…or not…that is entirely up to you. But, I will always share with you what I have found to be the best way to work with other people and situations to bring about the best life possible.
Tip: Point your finger at yourself!
Reprinted with permission from the "Tip of the Week".
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