Another class of students have completed Dale Carnegie's Human Relations Training. A class in which I am lucky enough to be a graduate assistant. I always ask the graduates what their key take away will be. To my surprise, one of the more astute students returned the question.
It's been a while since a student asked something about me.
My reply: I Have Learned to Listen More Than I Talk!
Blogging, writing, and social media citizenship for me has been an exercise in presenting my experience by invitation. As if to say, the reader can unlock my opinion if they so choose....or turn the channel.
It took a Human Relations degree for me to learn to be more aware of my audience. Back in the day, if you extended a salutation, it was returned with a bravado filled monologue. I would tell you how great I was, how everyone else was falling short, and then dart off in the other direction. I was inconsiderate of the opinions of others, conversations were one sided, and a passive greeting was met with a direct (uninvited) fit. This was a time of indecision for me. Instead of benefiting from the input of others, I showcased my indecision. I tried to make sense of my jumbled thoughts by vocalizing them. I was throwing words into a black hole. I was trying to make progress by avoiding what I needed ~ new ideas.
What An Annoying Ass I Was!
Dale Carnegie's 16th Principle to Win People to Your Way of Thinking:
Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers
Early in my career someone told me: Selling is Telling! It is actually the opposite. The best salespeople are great listeners. They know how to take in a prospective customer's goals and differentiate them through their solution. When a person grandstands without asking what you need they invalidate their existence.
Dale Carnegie's 28th Principle to Be A Leader:
Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
During our course, we have dispelled the assumed principles of Leadership. We have learned that the best leaders are not overtly assertive or commandingly direct. In fact, a ironic skill set of a leader can be vulnerability.
This is where a divine truth reveals itself:
Many Assumed Traits of Leadership are actually Revelations of Insecurity
I overheard a young lady on a conference call the other day. She was using framed language "...we either manage up, or manage out..." - she was trying to sound smart. Translation: I speak confidently so I must be confident. She wanted to be heard not because she wanted to help but because she wanted to be accepted.
....that's the question you need to ask yourself. Why do you care about asserting yourself in such a fashion. Are you acting for the betterment of the team, or are you simply looking for validation?
I was a person that vomited bravado not because I had anything to share but because I wanted to know that what I was saying made sense. I'm not sure why I didn't ask for advice instead of pretending to know everything.
You will not receive honest feedback from anyone if you hit them over the head with aggressive conversation.
Here's what they are thinking: "dude, I just asked how you were doing....you could have just said fine and continued to the copy room...I've actually got work to do and I don't really care about your misery".
This person might actually be able to help if you asked for their help instead of pretending you didn't need it.
Don't Forget to Remember!