Friday, June 24, 2011

KeFactors Friday: What does it take? Part 2

There’s no real secret formula to life but here are qualities I’ve observed in others I consider successful, as professionals and as human beings.

Practicing trust and humor is a good way to boost personal courage, especially during stressful episodes. Trust means readily showing others proof of your intent, your motives. Even saying “I’m still not sure what I want from the situation” is better than nothing.

Humor loosens up tense muscles, enables rapid learning, and makes it fun to collaborate over the most difficult tasks and situations.

Most of us practice the wrong sort of humor, however; rather than being situational, humor is used to poke fun at someone else. But charming people know the most engaging humor is self-deprecating. For example, have you ever noticed that very arrogant people have a weak sense of humor?

Be kind. This can be hard, especially if you work in a place where a good day is one long defensive play. But if you think a colleague really has it out for you, wait for a pattern to develop before you stage a pre-emptive strike against them. If you receive credit but know it was wholly a team effort, don’t be a credit hog: share it.

If you listen more than you speak, you’re probably doing a lot of things right.

Kindness is too often confused with permissiveness. To be kind is not to be soft and yielding, but — in tough situations — to be disciplined in communicating difficult concepts so that we don’t take down the other person’s dignity at the same time.

I knew a guy once who was brilliant—articulate, ambitious, driven. He aspired to be, and was, “first in everything,” winning industry award after award—until I heard his assistant mutter behind me, scoffing, “First in everything? Last in people’s hearts.”

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