Success and Consideration
The sixth C in the twelve part series on success is Consideration.
Consideration is a very unique trait of the most successful people and organizations and probably the least understood. The unsuccessful have no understanding of the importance of this characteristic and have little understanding of its true value to success. If consideration is missing or limited, then you will find unhappy and unresponsive people working with you or around you. The true indicator of the degree of consideration being used is the number of people who actually WANT to work or be with you.
What is Consideration?
Consideration is one of the true “people skill” elements or traits. Usually the degree of consideration is based upon choices (another C word possibility) made by individuals, leaders or organizations. So what is consideration all about? It is about being very sensitive, aware and listening to people.
The ability to be considerate to others is a very unique talent because the person or leader recognizes that everything is not about them-self – it is about others. No rocket science here – only respect and feelings for others. Interpersonal skills is the key to having consideration for others.
What is Personal Consideration?
Personal consideration is really about relationships and how effective you are developing and maintaining relationships. The question you have to ask yourself is How Well Are You Known? Liked? and Respected by Others? This is probably the toughest test you will ever take as you rate yourself with the answers. It is important to be accurate, honest and truthful in your personal assessment. This is the only method to learn about your effectiveness and will you need to improve this skill before becoming successful.
I have coached some people that did not understand this concept. They were limited in their personal effectiveness. They also had few friends and basically no social life. They lived to work and had become pure task masters in life.
So here are some methods to improve your effectiveness in consideration.
First, it is not about you! It is about others. Let’s say that you want more respect than you are currently getting from friends and peers. The question becomes one of…”How much do you respect them?” Here is a key lesson in life skills – if you want others to respect you, you must respect them first. If you want others to like you, you must like them first. And, if you want people to trust you, you must be willing to trust others. These are simple rules and methods, yet, seem to be difficult to execute by many.
Second, stop judging others based upon your model of perfection. It’s really not fair, nor is it right – wait, I sound like I’m judging. And, maybe I am which will limit my effectiveness if I’m not careful. It takes little effort to fall back on judgment and demanding perfection from others. It takes a true people champion to allow open discussions without demeaning others who have different priorities than you.
Third, realize that 85% of your success in life is dependent upon the relationships you establish with others. The interesting thing about relationships is the other person is capable of talking back or having their very own opinion about life and things. Honor the feelings of others and your relationships will prosper.
Finally, listen more than you talk when around others. This is tough for some people – who enjoy being the center of attention. However, here is the reality – people like talking about themselves more than listening to you talk about you. Here’s a guide or frame of reference: you have two ears and one mouth. Use them with the same percentages – listen two-thirds of the time and speak only one-third of the time. In fact, if you ask questions during your talk time, people will enjoy your company more AND BELIEVE YOU ARE A GREAT CONVERSATIONALIST! Try it and watch people begin to seek you out.
What is Organizational Consideration?
This is the key element in separating the also-rans from the champions in the industry. The organizations that have leaders who truly value the worth of people will win the game of business more often. Sure, performance has to be measured and people must be held accountable. The difference is how the people feel about their jobs and the company they work for today.
If an organizational wants high performance and high energy, motivated and engaged employees, then consideration must be present. The culture of these organizations is key to high performance. And, the people make up the elements of the culture. Leaders can set the stage for high performance cultures, yet, it is the people who must believe in their leaders and others in the organization.
The Gallup Poll came out with studies based upon high performance, culture and the relationships of people within the organizations. One of the most telling factors they discovered during the analysis of survey research was a common link between enjoying the people they worked with and high performance. The findings revealed that people actually worked harder to satisfy their peers than to satisfy their leaders. Interesting information if you are in a leadership position. What are you doing to create bonds within the peer groups of the organization?
Another area that managers and leaders need to strengthen is their responsiveness to their people. First, active listening to their comments, suggestions and ideas will open the flow of information – sometimes critical information necessary for wise decisions. Second, asking employees for their input to critical issues will gain involvement and commitment at a higher level than before. And, it is important to realize that managers can no longer be answer person. In other words, there is too much going on for one manager to have all the information and answers. Involve the people closest to the issue or problem and they can give you excellent input and ideas to solve the issue.
One important factor in developing consideration at the organizational level, is the goal is not social in nature. It is about the respect of individuals within the team. When respect for each individual is the bed rock of the organization, things get done at a higher level and faster than before. Respect drives people to want to do the right things and to be the best they can be to honor those who respect them. It becomes somewhat circular in nature, yet, this is what be effective is all about. Treat everyone in the organization with respect and they will in turn respect you as a leader.
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