How Do You Set Goals For Others?

Thursday, January 2 2014

Wouldn’t it be great if we could make New Year’s resolutions for others?

This year:

  • My wife will be nicer to me.
  • My customers will buy more and pay their bills on time.
  • My suppliers will have better quality control and reduce their prices.
  • My children will have greater respect for me.
  • My friends will invite me out to lunch more often.

It doesn’t work that way. I can’t set goals or make resolutions for others, no matter how much I might like to. However, I can affect their actions by what I do.

Have you noticed that your behaviour changes depending on who you are with? With some people you are assertive and confident; with others, you are quieter; with another group you can enjoy being yourself. If being in the presence of people with different personalities or styles can alter our behaviour, can we impact others in a similar manner? Absolutely!

So the question becomes, “What attitude, thoughts or behaviour should I adopt if I want to influence others?”

  • What can I do to improve my relationship with my wife? I can start by being nicer to her. Thinking about her needs instead of my own. Doing things for her without any expectation of quid pro quo.
  • What can I change in my relationship with my customers that will motivate them to pay their bills on time and buy more? Better customer service, more helpful advice, increased attention?
  • How can I make it worth my supplier’s time and effort to improve quality? What can I do to have them lower their prices? Buy more? Buy in bigger lots? Provide helpful feedback and suggestions?
  • How can I change my behaviour in order to earn more respect from my children? Be more attentive to their needs? Cultivate greater respect for them?
  • If I want my friends to invite me out to lunch more frequently, I should invite them out more often. That’s a no-brainer.

In all of these situations the answer to wishing others would have better habits begins with me.

I have to invest first if I want to see a change in others. Nor can I give with the expectation of an immediate return. It must be done with a pure heart. I do this because it is the right thing to do. It is a habit of giving.  It is a way of life. It is who I am. Or who I am working to become.

That’s my resolution for 2014.


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