“The great enemy of communication, we find, is the illusion of it. We have talked enough; but we have not listened.” – William H. Whyte
I could end this post there, these words reverberating with such clarity that it is worthy of both the beginning and the end. Fortunately, I hope for you and me being a purveyor of words, I wish to expound on it.
These posts are going to be quick reads aimed towards equipping all of us to own the upcoming week. Consider them a challenge. This blog and my daily mantra centers around “Showing Up” and the “We” in the site name is no coincidence. It is neither “I can” nor “You can” but WE Can Show Up as leaders, co-workers, spouses, friends, parents – together, with combined experiences and through emotional transparency. That said…
Show Up Sunday – Positive Intent
Assume positive intent. These three words can be an enormous mind shift. I alluded to this in a prior post about anger being such a powerful emotion without calling out specifically. In any situation, if you truly believe positive intent, it’s almost impossible to have negative thoughts. Beyond that, it gives opportunities to build deeper connections through trust. How’d you feel if you were on the receiving end of this after you’ve made a mistake?
“I know this looks bad but I know you didn’t mean it. I’d like to understand how you approached this and see where we differed.“
Assuming positive intent shifts us from blame to understanding.
How often can you assume positive intent this week?
“Showing Up” is representative of my approach each day. While it’s a great motivator, underneath is where the action is. Learning comes first. It is a building block for growth and without it leaves you in a place of complacency and monotony. For me, staying curious is the best way to learn. I define curiosity as investing energy to learn or understand a deeper meaning. When curious, we seek knowledge not an answer. There is joy in the process. It’s about knowing that the unknown exists and stepping into the dark.
In this spirit of learning, here’s what I’ve come to known early in my career: