Do you GIVE more than you TAKE?
This is not an easy question to answer correctly! Most of us don't have enough self-awareness - moment-to-moment - to recognise what kind of impact we are having on the people and environments around us. Many of us are probably "too busy" to notice, or worse, would prefer to stick with the status quo because honesty about oneself can often be confronting! Let's be brave and explore this a little further.
Stop for a moment and think back to different interactions you've had in the last 48 hours. Ask yourself — what was your style, the tone of language you commonly used, the space you made for others, your normal response to situations? Did you bring energy and optimism to a room, build people up, allow others to learn and elevate their sense of self? Did you motivate, make people feel safe, unlock imagination or deepen connections? Or did you take things in the opposite direction, perhaps without even knowing?
When I stopped to reflect on these questions, I realised a few things: 1) I need to find new strategies and persevere to alter constantly negative environments for the better; 2) I currently hold myself to higher standards and, therefore, make more effort in some environments/interactions than others; and 3) when I'm giving it is powerful and I see it multiply!
Someone once said to me, "people won't always remember what you say, but they will always remember how you made them feel". I've never forgotten this! I also know from research, that consistency and predictability make human beings feel safer, and that most of us will gravitate towards hope and positivity.
How do you make people feel?
Every time we interact with people in all areas of our life, we have choices. We can choose to take ownership for our language and our behaviours and find more ways to add value. We can choose to give other people respect, belief, joy, opportunities, support, freedom, constructive feedback and applause. So experiment a little, try new things and expand your capacity to give. Let others step into the spotlight, practise open mindedness and perhaps allow things to happen someone else's way next time. Ask different people for their take on things, start with questions instead of directions, exercise more patience and double your warmth — with those you know, with those you don't know, with those you work with and especially those you love.
When you give more than you take, there is a compounding effect — everybody benefits!
That's certainly worth a little personal exploration and a bit more effort. Give yourself this gift!
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