Sunday, November 25, 2007

66 Tips For Better Networking - #49

Route 66 - The Journey Toward Success

Look For The Good In Others

Finding the faults in others seems to be a national pastime. Everyday I see people who too quickly look for ways to chop the reputation of others, rather than building up what is good in humanity. Mistakenly they think bringing another down it will raise them up. It does not work that way. When we focus on the negatives, we just bring everyone (including ourselves) down.

This is relevant in politics. Republican supporters go crazy tearing down the democrat candidates, working hard to make them look evil. Meanwhile, the democrats characterize the republicans as the devil. Both sides spend so much time pointing out the faults of the others that nobody ends up looking good. This week there was an editorial in the Austin American Statesman (from the Nov 22nd New York Times) by Gail Collins titled "Everything We Don't Want". When you get past the partisan slant of her editorial (I could care less if she was on the left or right), what you are left with is a horrible piece of editorial writing that is just there to belittle those she does not like. There is nothing constructive in these fifteen just focuses in what is bad. There are no facts, just sloppy negativity disguised as stylish writing. Making the other political party look wrong will not cause anyone to flock to her view point. It might make those who agree with her smile, but it really does not help anyone. Yet with politics, this is the norm.

It does not work this way for the rest of us. If you want people to admire you (and your point of view) you need to give them tangible examples of the positive rather than observations of how someone else terrible. People want to rally around the goodness, not run in fear from the icky things in life. As a person I want to be inspired, not brow beaten.

This is important to remember when you are building your business career and reputation. Look around at how many conversations you have where someone who is not present is the topic of conversation. Now look at the slant of these discussions....are you praising others? Praising is a great way to expand your personal brand. Nobody is ever scared of what you say about them behind their back when they witness your positive outlook. Find the good in others and people will see the good in you.

However, if you are often engaged in gossip and back-stabbing then your reputation will be just that. You need to be aware that how you speak of others will directly reflect upon how your are perceived.

The best thing to do is to look for the good in people. Even people you do not like. Everyone has something about them that you can admire (yes, serial killers and other criminals are not what I am talking about). Look around your office and start identifying two good things in all those with whom you work. What is it about these people that makes them good. You need not run and share all these qualities, but you who wouldn't want to hear why you see them as special.

If all those who follow politics were required to find two good things about those they oppose politically, the world would be a better place. I would find it interesting if Ms. Collins re-wrote her editorial looking for good things rather than being a negative nelly. I am pretty sure that would never happen, as it is not her style...but maybe it should be your style to find the good in others.

Have A Great Day.


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