Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Be aware, be very aware! :-)
How did you do with your "wisdom" last week? I think I did a teensy bit better...maybe this week will move me a little closer to "wise" :-)
This week's word is AWARE. As in, are you aware of how what you say and do affects others?
I was reading an article yesterday about different kinds of leadership. One theory of leadership is that, whether your "title" is leader or not, you are born having certain kinds of leadership qualities and you really can't change that. For instance, I once worked for a fellow who ruled by intimidation - and yes, he "ruled" and yes, he intimidated. I respectfully disagree with the theory that he couldn't change that style. I sincerely believe that what it takes is constant awareness (which sounds pretty easy, but isn't, of course). That awareness could have led him to see how his actions and words DE-motivated his employees, but he chose NOT to be aware. I have to conclude that he didn't CARE how that style affected others.
So what does this have to do with you - and me? Well, I have been on a quest (over the past couple of years, especially) to be aware of my own words and actions and the affect they will have on others. My tongue seems to be in a constant state of "injury" from being bitten so often!! The wounds are a little less frequent as my state of awareness increases, though.
Just think...if you become more aware before you "snap" at a friend - or a child - or a spouse - or the telemarketer - or the clerk at the store - or a boss...won't that make life a bit less stressful? It will if you then consider what you were going to say and deal with the feelings behind those words, rather than just spit them out onto someone without considering how you will make them feel. And here's where maybe that wisdom does come in a bit...I have found that when I let loose with words to make someone else feel bad, I may accomplish that goal momentarily, but the sad part is, I don't usually feel all that much better after having shared my negativity. I still have the negativity, and now they do, too. And it usually doesn't improve my relationship with that person in any way. And I don't know the affect those feelings will have on them in the future. And the feelings that caused me to say those things are still there! And now I'm irritated with myself!
And just think...an ounce of AWARENESS could have prevented all of that! Yes, I would still have the feelings ~ but I have found that dealing with my feelings myself rather than letting them control me and how I interact with others is really paying benefits these days.
See...wisdom does come with age :-) (Of course, sometimes age comes alone...tee hee!)
My challenge to you this week is to become more aware - aware of what you are about to say and to whom you are going to say it...aware of WHY you want to say that...aware of the affect it will have (short-term and long-term) on that person and on your relationship with them...aware of the affect it will have on your feelings about yourself... Just be aware, be very aware!