December 31, 2018
By Amy Castoro, CEO & President, The Williams Group
At The Williams Group, we teach that language creates our reality. For example, if we say someone is "grumpy" or "untrustworthy" then that is what this person is to us. Every action, every conversation, every situation we see this person as grumpy or untrustworthy reinforces our reality. The possibilities of this person being anything other than that are non-existent . . . all the time.
In another example, if I see someone as non-committal, unresponsive to emails or phone calls, or never reaching out to another family member, I might label that person as uncaring. A potent label to be sure, and in the future, I will be less likely to reach out to that person. The result is that I cut off myself, and my entire family from theirs, for what is likely to be for generations.
If on the other hand I can use different language and produce a different outcome I will change the trajectory of the relationship. Perhaps I send a card, or a simple text that says, "Thinking of you." Just that small gesture is more about who I am being for the person, and less about my global interpretation of that person being "uncaring."
Perhaps instead of saying, "You are uncaring," I can say, "In this moment you seem to be having a hard day." This subtle shift of focus from that person "always being uncaring" to interpreting the behavior specific to a situation will create more possibilities for you to connect.
Our joy, prosperity, and happiness does not happen in a vacuum. It happens in relationship to others. The leverage, or the source of our happiness, is actually not so much in the tasks we perform, or the money we make, but in who we are being for ourselves and others when we perform those tasks. For example, if in my New Year's resolutions, I am committed to putting relationships before goals, then I will look at my actions that will support who I am being. Instead of cutting someone off or overrunning them with my own agenda, I will take a breath and ask if this is a good time to have the conversation, or simply wait until they finish their thought. I may ask if they have a better way to accomplish the goal to partner with them as opposed to insisting on doing it my way with one-way communication.
I suggest you skip the New Year's resolution this year about what you want to do differently. Instead, I invite you to make a list of who you see yourself being for the people around you, and then consider the actions needed to support that identity. I have already sent out a few texts simply stating, "thinking of you!."
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