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 You Can’t Talk Yourself Out of Something You Behaved Your Way Into.

I first heard this from a corporate leader years ago as I was doing a workshop on creating an environment of trust for a pharmaceutical company in the Washington D.C. area. There are some things you only need to hear once in your life, and they stick to you like glue. This statement is one of those.

What you DO and the HOW you do it is always going to speak for you.

One the most powerful and easily detectable behaviors is kindness. Or you could say being NICE.

Will nice compensate for incompetence? Absolutely not. But I can tell you from decades of experience, that it makes incompetence easier to forgive, and it will open the way for the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, no amount of excellence in any endeavor can ultimately overcome being unkind. If you are excellent, and not nice, you will be seen as egotistical, arrogant, prideful, pompous, over-bearing, conceited, and generally full of yourself. The person or organization you are engaged with will appreciate the result you delivered, and likely never choose to engage you again.

Because character matters most.

And it’s simple to understand why. Human beings are emotional creatures. Logic is secondary. Anything that strikes you wrong emotionally about someone is going to stay with you and take a while to see past…if ever.

Three Very Simple Tenets…

As I have built teams and worked with leaders, aspiring leaders, and organizations to help them improve over the past 30 plus years, one thing is for certain…basic fundamentals to succeed in most things can be learned by practically anyone.

Don’t worry about assessing skill right off the bat (unless it’s a very high level transaction/position and past performance or current capability is a qualifier to get INTO the conversation), instead focus on character.

You cannot teach character. It is has to be IN someone. While the depth of someone’s character is going to take a while to decipher, and likely won’t be revealed until there is a major challenge, there are some simple things that can provide clues.

The three immovable traits/tenets that I value are kindness, honesty, and respect. Granted, the honesty one can be a bit tricky at first, but the other two are pretty easy to spot.

People Do Business With Those They Like and Trust

Of course, the underlying assumption is that you have something of value that is competitive. Some people like to add the word “know” as in know, like, and trust. That makes sense, but it’s redundant to me, because know is in line with trust. The deeper you know the deeper you can trust.

The like part is what I am stressing here. Nice is one of the behaviors that is like a billboard you have above your head. It stands out. In both directions. If you aren’t…and if you are.

What’s more memorable? When you aren’t. If you are not nice ONE time, people will not forget. That’s a big thanks to the negative conditioning we have all been subject to in our upbringing and society. Negative polarizes. Jerks are memorable.

Nice is memorable too, but in shorter windows. Here’s what I mean…you can be super nice to someone in the check-out line in the store. This is the first time they have had an encounter with you. They now feel good, because that’s what being nice does…it spreads good vibes.  Two minutes later, a not nice person comes through the line…and poof, there goes the good vibes. It will take several nice encounters to overcome the bad vibes.

This is just how it works.

When you are consistently nice, THEN you begin to make a lasting impression.

You see, we are all under a microscope to some degree in our life. The more significant your roles and endeavors, the bigger and broader the microscope.

Make it easy on yourself and those around you and be nice. Now for a deeper look into the importance of managing the microscope…especially if you are in a leadership position, or are building something, I encourage you to watch this video. If you found value today, please spread the love and share!

If you need some Coaching, or Training for your organization, reach out to me.

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Many Blessings, Todd

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