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