People Maxims

“People Maxims” looks at the 15/85 factor in people: “15% of the reason you get, keep and move ahead in a job is determined by your technical skills. 85% of the reason you get, keep and move ahead in a job is determined by your people knowledge and skills” (Harvard University). Check out the people maxims below.

Feb 14 2012

Luggage is not Destiny!

Psychologists use the terms framing and reframing to explain how we interpret life experiences.

When we frame an experience, we draw conclusions about it that help us to internalize the event. For example, persons who have been abused by men may frame the experience by concluding, “Men are not to be trusted”.

When we reframe an experience, we reconsider out initial conclusion, reinterpreting it in a way that allows us to grow in a more positive direction. This reframing can take place years after the original experience occurred. The conclusions we draw when reframing are often call life lessons. To return to the example above, an abuse survivor may reframe his or her experience to conclude, “My father can’t be trusted. But I’m willing to consider trusting other men.”

Of course, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Reframing takes a lot of courage, insight, and a willingness to consider alternative perspectives. To generalize, an optimist tends to choose better while a pessimist is inclined to choose bitter. Do you recognize a patter in your decision-making?

Do you learn toward better or bitter?

The key here is to take charge of your thinking, to control your destiny. Be aware of the way you interpret your luggage – your life experiences - and reframe them in a positive direction. Keeping choice alive is an exercise in will power.

Luggage is not your destiny. You can choose the path you want to walk!

People Maxims

Feb 2 2012

Your CQ Eclipses your IQ!

“Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A major shift is underway. Over the last twenty years we have begun to realize that character is a much a form of intelligence as intellectual ability. For many years, intelligence has been measured by gauging an individual’s intellectual capacity, often referring to a person’s intelligence quotient or IQ. However, we’re learning that a person’s strength of character, their character quotient, or as I like to call it, their CQ, may contribute to feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment, more so than IQ.

To discover how character contributes to a fuller life, let’s revisit the four pillars of character from my book: “Knowing Me Knowing You… a guide to proactive people skills”.

Pillar One… Self-Aware

Three of the values highlighted in my book – open-mindedness, humility, and perspective – are particularly important to the development of self-awareness. These values provide a compass by which to navigate the course of our daily lives. These character traits give us a broader view, empower us with choices and help us set realistic goals.

Pillar Two… Other Aware

When we’re other aware, we show empathy for others around us. The values of fairness, forgiveness and kindness guide our actions with others. They inform our decisions, helping us know what to do and what not to do, when to say yes and when to say no. Unlike the traditional view of intelligence, charter intelligence helps us to see the world through another’s eyes.

Pillar Three… Self-Motivated

Strength of character relies on our ability to take responsibility and face challenges. Values such as persistence, integrity, and spirituality support us in these areas. Persistence gives us the strength and motivation to achieve our goals. Spirituality lifts us to higher ground, empowering us to act in accordance with our beliefs. Integrity demands honesty in our words and actions.

Pillar Four… Other-Motivated

Strength of character (our CQ) grants us the ability to inspire and empower others. Hope. leadership, and love are all values that lift others to new heights. These values change lives in ways that academic smarts simply cannot!

Character strength, acquired by living out our values, ultimately accounts for our best practices. That’s how it can eclipse our IQ when we measure our life not by what we know but by how fulfilled and focued we become and who we impact.

People Maxims

Nov 10 2011

Temperament is not destiny!

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Temperament is a part of your personality that is stable and unchanging. It relies on patterns or behavior that transcend such significant factors as culture, gender, and education. It’s comforting to know that we can depend on our temperaments patterns and those of our friends and colleagues. We don’t have to reinvent our personality. It’s simply a part of us.

However, this constancy doesn’t mean that we should allow ourselves – or our view of others – to be controlled by what we know about temperament.

Some people who learn about temperament use this knowledge to label everyone they meet. Rather than get to know someone by listening to their words, developing a relationship, or enjoying their company, they slot people into neat little boxes. With the person properly labeled, they feel there  is no need to understand that person more deeply. These individuals use their knowledge of temperament to manipulate others or to get what they want form a colleague, spouse, or friend.

Similarly, when some people learn about their own temperament, they apply labels to themselves, thereby limiting their own promise and potential. For example, a relater may choose not to try to become more proactive or assertive, knowing that isn’t his temperament. I remember one workshop participant saying, “Well, you see what you get with me. That’s just the way I am.” Her words seemed to be suggesting that she had no power to take responsibility for her decisions and actions.

But temperament is not destiny. We are much more than our temperament. Temperament is a great beginning, but it’s not the be-all and end-all to understanding ourselves and others.

People Maxims

Nov 10 2011

The Greatness in You!

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In his best-selling book, “Good to Great”, Jim Collins states, “Good is the enemy of great.” He explains, “We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great governments principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”

I invite you to raise the bar, to believe that good is not good enough, to aim to be the greatest you can be.

When I encourage you to strive for greatness, am I suggesting that you can do anything you put your mind to? Anything at all?

Many Hollywood movies and some life coaches try to get us to believe the misguided maxim: Anything is possible if you just believe hard enough.” But this simply isn’t true.

Consider the story of Rudy Ruettiger, a 23 year-old groundskeeper at Notre Dame University, who was the protagonist in the 1993 movie Rudy. Tom Rath retells Ruettiger’s story, explaining how Rudy didn’t posses the physical ability to play big-time football or the education to get admitted to Notre Dame, but he had ample heart. It took him three tries to get accepted into the University and then two years of practicing before he was invited to suit up and join his team for the final game of his senior year. In the final moments of the game, he was given the chance to play – and he tackled the opposing team’s quarterback. It was a winning moment and Rudy became an instant hero.

So what do you think? In his attempts to get accepted at Notre Dame and to make the university football team, did Rudy make wise use of his gifts and abilities?

We all have strengths, but we also have limitations. It doesn’t make sense to strive for greatness in an area that is not a strength for us. Rather, it makes more sense to  recognize your natural strengths – often done by completing a temperament survey – and then capitalize on those areas where you have greatest natural abilities. Of course, temperament is not the only place where you have strength, but it is a good place to start.

Maxim:
Acknowledge and enjoy what you’re good at.
Discover and deliver what you can be great at!

People Maxims

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