Jellyfish or Jackhammer?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, We=All Who Matter
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We can act in response to what we think are other people’s judgments of us. (Yuck.) Or we can act according to what we want. (Lonely.)

Success at work happens when we do the later in service of other people, specifically other people whose problems and opportunities we find compelling.

Both. And.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Thomas Hawk Jack Hammering It via photopin (license)

Nothing and No One Needs Fixing

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter, Will=Our inner game
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Where our inner game is off, it normally comes from us nursing a belief about them, us, or the situation being fundamentally broken.

These harsh judgments push us to try to control or fix what’s broken. And this generates huge resistance. It drags down our buzz, drains our batteries, and drives away those we need to work with.

A far more productive and pleasant way to go is to replace these judgments with the perspective that nothing is broken and nothing needs fixing or controlling.

Of course, we will always have problems to solve and things to improve. By tossing the idea of fundamental flaws in us, them, or the situation causing the problems, improvement becomes creative and as easy as changing our socks.

Time to get some great work done, yes?


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Jimmy Hilario

When We Remember

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter, Will=Our inner game
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When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

– Mark Twain

And when we remember that we are all doing our best (how could it be otherwise?), our compassion grows. Then work and life becomes delicious again.


In your corner,


PS: Judging self and others doesn’t really help much, alas.


Today’s photo credit: Monrovia Public Library cc

Door Number 2

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
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Even if we do it behind their backs, people can tell when we have judged, criticized, or found fault in them. They will inevitably react. They may leave or stay. They may get aggressive or, most likely, they will passively and even unwittingly undermine all the good work.

Even if we do it behind their backs, people can tell when we have defended, praised, or believed in them. They will inevitably react. Most likely, they will–even unwittingly–find new ways to solve problems, collaborate, help clients, and make money.

So, will it be door number two, then, kind Leader?


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Julie Kertesz cc


A Small Journey to the Source of People Problems

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
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Let’s take a small journey then come back home.

Most problems at work are people problems. People problems mostly come from our tendency to judge each other. We judge others because, deep down, we want to be special. We want to be special because we, ever deeper down, judge that we are somehow broken. We think we are broken because that’s what we’ve been told or assumed given all the unwanted stuff we see around us.

The way home from this journey is simple: none of us is broken. We have no need to make ourselves special to cover our flaws. We need not judge. We are much more similar than we are different. We are better together. Each deserves our respect as we deserve it from them. We can nip in the bud any problems at work with understanding and win-win.

Welcome home.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Chris Ford cc


Not Like Us

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success
Reading time: 2 min.

It seems that we instantly and all day long judge others as one of us or not one of us.

We may judge on skin color, education, political bent, gender, sexuality, weight, membership of this crowd or that, wealth, religion, title, clothing, hairstyle, accent, apparent intelligence, tone, body language, who their friends are, what kind of car they drive, where they live, what they eat, the music they like, etc. We can even judge others on how they remind us of other people we have known.

Evolutionary biologists will tell us our judgment helped us survive. Perhaps. But for most of our daily interactions, judging prevents us from connecting and thereby leading, influencing, or selling as easily as we could.

If we look closely enough, we can see that we are much more alike than different. We can set aside the judgments we’ve used to keep us apart. We can lay a significant block in the foundation of a trusting relationship. Upon this foundation we connect and derive win-win benefits. Our innate unity is profitable.


In your corner,


PS: “But,” you might think, “The evolutionary biologists have a point. There are people out there who are dangerous. How do we guard against the shysters and psychopaths?” Good question. First, we need not jump from stranger to complete trust in one instant. We can usually set aside judgment at first and build up trust along the way. Second, we can rely on all our other relationships for support, insight, and guidance. Third, we go for win-win. Remember, win-win is short for, “I win and you win or we don’t play.” As we get good at setting aside judgments and opening to people, we will will also be good at sensing when others are not reciprocating.  When we feel bad, we walk.


Today’s photo credit: Tawheed Manzoor cc


It Does Take Two to Tango

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We=All Who Matter
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Because, as leaders, we enter many relationships, we often find ourselves bothered by and reacting to other people’s actions. Whenever and with whomever we repeatedly feel angry, rejected, unsafe, or criticized etc., we have joined them in an unpleasant dance.

Intellectually we can see that it’s not all them; we own at least half of the problem. But we join the dance before our intellect knows what’s happening. Subconsciously, we run a program that says, in effect, “When they do X, I judge them in this way–it feels bad to me as I do, by the way–and respond like this. To do otherwise would be wrong or hurtful to them or me.”

And it’s not true. We have better choices.

We can catch ourselves getting tripped by their behavior. We can flip our judgments to thoughts that feel good. We can commit to win-win.

Doing so, we put our best foot forward to lead a new dance.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: J’ via photopin cc


Why We Cannot Afford to Judge

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1

As leaders (with or without title), influencers, and sales people, we cannot afford to judge others. Not at all.

To judge another, we necessarily pretend that we are special, more deserving, better. Others will sense this in us and find (oh so) many ways to resist, unconsciously if not consciously. That resistance, left unchecked, kills sales, projects, companies, and nations.

It is not that we should think we are somehow unimportant, less deserving, or worse than others.  But that we are all perfectly-equally important, deserving, and good.


In your corner,


PS: When I say “judging,” I mean “judging negatively.”

PPS: Next time you catch yourself judging someone–even for the smallest thing–try seeing them instead as important, deserving, and good. Do this quietly, to yourself. You likely will be surprised by how they respond. It may be subtle at first and grow more obvious in due time.

PPPS: Though we choose not to judge another, we still will address behaviors that aren’t working well for us. Whole other kettle of fish, that.

crystal ball

Other People Know How We Feel About Them

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence
Reading time: 2 min.

In a way, we can say that we are all psychic. We can usually read each other’s emotions quite accurately. We may not believe this. We may ignore what we sense. It’s true nonetheless.

When we lead (with or without title), influence, or sell, people react to us based on how we are feeling in general and how we feel about them in particular. It matters little what we say or do. If we see them as a pain, a threat, a nuisance,  an obstacle, or an idiot, they will subtly or openly pull away. If we see them as valuable, as a partner, as intelligent, or as worthy, they will engage.

It makes sense, then, for us to be deliberate about how we see others.

They know.


In your corner,


PS: It helps to separate the person and the behavior. We can honor the person and judge any negative behavior as unwanted. We can always celebrate their positive behavior.

PPS: It doesn’t matter if we think their behavior justifies our judgment.

PPPS:  It doesn’t matter what they think of themselves. One of the greatest gifts we can give another is to practice quietly seeing the good in them even without evidence.

PPPPS: Do you doubt you can be this deliberate? I know you can.


Today’s photo credit: Jlhopgood via photopin cc


Other People’s Poor Behavior

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 2 min.

We often fall into the trap of making up stories to explain other people’s poor behavior. Here is a small sampling:

  • “He didn’t return my email because he thinks I am a pest.”
  • “They are really very political. They will stab you in the back as soon as you turn around.”
  • “She can’t handle the demands of this office and her home life. That’s why she’s struggling.”
  • “My boss doesn’t let me speak up in meetings because she wants to take all the credit for the ideas.”
  • “He’s that way because he is not a people person.”
  • “That guy gets exactly nothing done week-to-week. He’s lazy and is just waiting for a package.”
  • “He’s gunning for her job. That’s why he’s making all this noise now in these meetings.”

These stories do us harm because they are false. We simply have no way of knowing the inner life, thoughts, and dreams of any of the rest of us. Our made-up stories likely will cause friction and missed opportunities as we judge, misunderstand, and underestimate each other. Heck, sometimes even calling their behavior “poor” can get in the way.

If we really need to know what’s driving another’s behavior, let’s ask them. Otherwise, let’s be wary of these stories. Address the behavior and avoid the stories.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: afsart via photopin cc