Here are some more discussion questions* (and my answers). This set is on people-awareness:
- How do you express gratitude to the people in your life?
- Do you listen with the intent to understand or reply?
- How do you decide whether someone is good or bad?
- How can you improve your interactions with people?
Expressing Gratitude: I tend to look people in the eye and say ‘thank you, I really appreciate that.’ If their eyes are not available then I make sure that I send them a message via whatever medium works best for us. I like thank yous. I like them so much that I get annoyed when I don’t get them from other people. It’s a trait I don’t admire in me but it’s so difficult to stop. I mean – basics, people!
Listening Intent: I tend to interrupt a lot when someone is talking because I’ve got a clear idea of what I want out of a conversation and when I don’t get it I protest. So I guess that I don’t listen properly. I listen with the intent to reply. I want to have my say and I want to have it now. I need to stop doing that and start listening in order to understand what people are saying to me. People are at least as important as me and what they say is a distillation of years of their accumulated wisdom and beauty. So, yeah – I’ll listen more from now on. What’s that you say? Baloney? Well, rude!
Good or Bad: Yeah, I know – there’s no such thing as good or bad, there’s only convenient and inconvenient in terms of my wants and desires. When someone says or does something that’s inconvenient for me then I either try to stop them expressing it, or I try to get them to change their mind, or I just sulk until some other thought comes into my mind to wash away the old one. This can be anything from an minute up to a week, but rarely longer. I know, I know – I really need to work on my ego.
Improving Interactions: Boy do I need to improve my interactions with others. I get angry and sulk far too often. How will I do this? How will I change my own personality to the extent that I can actually stand to talk to people for more than a few seconds? I think that I need to constantly remind myself that people are people too and that I’m not the most important person in the world. In other words, I need to quell my beating ego. If I say it’s going to be easy so that it will be then this will not mean that I’m taking the task lightly, so, yeah – it’ll be easy. *crosses fingers*
*These questions are adapted from the ones Jeff Weiner used during his talk: On Leadership. I’m working my way through this 3.5 hour talk now.
Previous questions in this series are here: Self-Awareness.