We all play a significant role in our own happiness (or sadness) yet can be major contributors to those same feelings in others depending upon the decisions we make and the directions we choose to take. Dealing with people is an art. In order to advance ourselves we must often provide others a “safe passage” so they can come along beside us as they actively contribute. We should consider each situation we face – each decision we make – as an opportunity to find not only those parts of a solution that might be “partially true” but also what could be “potentially false.” As we provide a path for others to follow (which will hopefully allow them to become a “trailblazer” at some point in time), consider the following:
- Knowing what you want is half the battle. Expressing what you want WITHOUT stifling creativity by saying how to do it is the other half. The first question is a half truth – people should not be told exactly how to do things all the time – but they MUST be told what is expected if they are to achieve any fulfillment from their contributions and assisted along the way should they run into temporary obstacles or experience set-backs.
- All people bring a degree of experience and expertise to any situation. They probably would not be in a position to offer their opinion if they were not at least marginally able to contribute to the resolution of an issue, concern or problem. As soon as you think (and in some way express) that a question is “stupid,” you have lost all respect. Not everyone knows the right answers (nor do many know the right questions!), so we should not expect people around us to act without some form of feedback or direction. Allowing someone to run in whatever direction they choose might be good for their endurance BUT undirected effort and activity can create frustration, waste time and produce ineffective results.
- People are (and should be) expected to contribute to the resolution of a problem or the elimination of troubling situations by applying their individual skills and abilities. They must also receive appropriate praise and effective correction – targeted towards improved performance – if we expect them to leverage their unique gifts as we develop and implement mutually beneficial solutions.
- Worrying about things or situations around us is a good thing. Hiding reality from others is not so healthy. While people contributing to the resolution of a situation do not all need to know the same information, the DO need to know SOME information in order to act. If we wish to be an island, expect to receive the limited rewards that a self-contained eco-system might provide. When we want to receive all that is available to us – to benefit most from the efforts that a group can contribute – inform those around you what is going on, what will (or will not) work, what obstacles exist (and which are merely bumps in the road) and how they can help. Letting others become involved is not a sign of weakness – it allows them to get involved in choosing the path to take so that there is “buy-in” to the path chosen – whether it is the “best path” (in our own opinion) or one that will (eventually) lead to the same destination.