Does it matter to you if people “like” you?
Some say it does not matter whatsoever. These types are typically very outspoken about their non-caring which is very NOT non-caring. Of course we all know some assholes that we really do not give two shits if they like us or not because… we don’t like them. But that minority aside, most care about being likable, at least to some extent, in my experience.
But then there are those who live their entire lives attempting to please others around them. They do whatever it takes to find favor with those they deem important. They seek, and need the approval of others at the expense of their own self-worth and self-concept very often.
Sure, it’s good to be likable, but not when it requires you to compromise your own integrity or value. There’s a fine line between being likable and being spineless. There’s also a fine line between being diplomatic and being a dick. Nobody gets it right 100% of the time, but it’s those who care enough to pay attention and improve their communication skills in this area that are the true movers and shakers.
Talent – something you’re born with; something you may or may not have to work at, more or less, to develop and improve.
Skill – something you’re not born with; something you must work to develop and improve.
Your combination of talent and skill that produces something unique to you is what sets you apart from others. This uniqueness, packaged up and offered to others is how you can contribute and give back to the world.
However, there are three general certainties about people you need to be aware of:
- They are busy,
- They have short attention spans, and
- They are mainly thinking about themselves most of the time.
Your talent/skill combo must take these truisms into account when approaching people with your products, services, good intentions, or desires.
Because we’re all in the problem-solving/making-life-easier-for-others business. All of us. All of the time. So, make it about them first; you second. It’s counter-intuitive. But once this mindset shiFt sets in, the world takes on a whole new view as your outcomes will begin to improve.
Positioning. Politicking. Panicking. It’s what people do; more or less; much of the time. This is all especially noticeable when change brings about uncertainty, unpredictability, and/or opportunity. Folks begin to behave in peculiar ways when the perception is that there’s something significant to gain or something significant to lose. You see, people either rise-up or retreat.
But it’s the rising-up that’s most interesting to observe. There are good, and not-so-good ways to advocate for, and assert yourself. No one has the market cornered on the best ways to go about this. Some to are able to pull this off with tact, poise, and professionalism. Others just end up coming off like bullies. Your approach always has to depend on the people, places, and particulars at play. This is why this stuff is so hard. It’s an art form. One size does not fit all. It requires you to be able to read people, intuit situations, influence others, and react in the best ways to further, not hinder your cause. It means you must have the ability to adjust your own communication and behavior on-the-fly, in the moment, and in response to others, in order to best influence your desired outcomes.
Most think they’re good at this; most are not. It’s kinda scary... How ’bout you?
I love fielding communication from those whom I call the “none of this applies to me” group. You know the type: those who are audaciously certain… about seemingly, everything. These know-it-all’s think they have all the answers. There’s no subject they’re not well-versed in. These are the people who, when exposed to any information (new or not-so-new) that challenges their closely held belief systems, quickly get defensive, double-down on their positions, and then distance themselves from the threat. It’s irrational, of course, if you really think about it.
But psychologically speaking, suffering from irrational beliefs, and/or logical fallacies at times, is quite a normal human phenomenon. We all have them about certain things, at certain times. But it’s key is to know what they are, recognize them when they’re happening, and then adjust your thinking and behavior in the moment. For example the popular and wide-spread “bandwagon” logical fallacy is when an idea is accepted as true and valid simply because a lot of people believe it or adhere to it… NOT because there’s actual reliable evidence to prove it true… (flat earth phenomenon ring a bell?)
Anyone who has ever overreacted or catastrophized a situation, or spoken the words “never” or “always” with any frequency is demonstrating versions or variations of irrationality or faulty, or fallacious thinking. It’s predictably pompous and comical to claim otherwise.
Nothing screams I’m scared shitless, and full-of-shit, more than false bravado and denial cloaked in self-righteousness. @tomleu
I’ve heard it said that humility is the beginning of greatness. So begin being great by being honest with yourself. Admit you don’t have all the answers. Be open to new information, even if it challenges you to your core and gets you all worked up. Likely, it’s these visceral reactions and this resistance that’s trying to tell you something. Listen to it… It’s okay, no one else is perfect either…
Bitching. Moaning. Whining. Complaining. It’s all some people seem to do. It’s their identity and their attention-seeking mechanism. They’re quick to point out what sucks, what doesn’t work, why it’s never worked, and who’s to blame. They’re easy to spot because their language is laced with self-pity. They’re seemingly incapable of NOT living in the past.
News flash: There’s no nobility in this. There’s no redeeming value in choosing this lifestyle. And make no mistake… it IS a choice. It’s so easy to point fingers. It’s so easy to cry foul. It’s so terribly easy to be a victim… which is why so many do.
As an organizational leader (and I argue that we are ALL leaders of something, somewhere), I’m looking for those who have the courage to go against the grain. Those who have the balls to step-up, and come up with real solutions to real problems. Those who aren’t afraid to be objective about their part in past failures, but who also aren’t afraid to embrace change and to be badass about making things better.
Screw the doom-and-gloomers and the dream-stealers. Be a solution-seeker, or get the hell out of the way. Do it for your sake, and for all of our sakes… for fuck’s sake.
Doubt… It creeps in. It lingers. It’s infectious and fucks with you if left unabated. No matter how many times it happens, or how much experience you have… a good dose of doubt can cripple the most confident among us.
The antidote for doubt is action… not assessment, nor analysis. Go DO what you’re in doubt about. It’s the only way to overcome the fear of failure >> which is what doubt is really all about. When you know it, yet you doubt it, you kill it.
Facing the fear = Doing it scared = Defeating the doubt = Winning…
8 Steps to Get What You Want:
- Know exactly what it is you’re after and why. More Clarity = Less Chaos. It doesn’t have to be just one thing, but it does have to be clearly your thing(s).
- Be sure that what you want is something you’re both passionate about, AND have a legitimate talent for. Passion only = a hobby. Talent only = a job. Both = a calling. Get honest, and don’t bullshit yourself.
- Be able to help solve others’ problems with your passion and talent. Everyone’s favorite subject is themselves. So, at the core, your offering has to be about them; not you.
- Be willing and able to consistently work extremely hard despite how you feel at any given moment. I don’t care what anyone says, working toward “success” is fucking hard work. Chuck the excuses, and DO the work required to kick ass.
- Be willing and able to consistently work extremely smart. Always be learning new strategies and implementing new ideas to get farther, faster. If you think you’ve arrived… you definitely haven’t.
- Master the art and science of Communichology™ by knowing when and how to speak up, when to shut up, and how to do both professionally and with integrity ongoing. Copious amounts of self-awareness, social and emotional intelligences are non-negotiable skills sets to seek and master.
- Be actively assessing where and what you need recovery from, and where you need to improve… and we all need it somewhere, sometimes. And then commit to doing what needs to be done to fucking overcome and rise above.
- Repeat #1-8.