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2013 - The Year of Living Unselfishly

One of the reasons that Deb Boelkes and I felt compelled to create the Heartfelt Leadership global community is that selfishness and self-centeredness appears to be a malady that is gripping more of the world. 

It is also one of the reasons my co-author, Dr. John Ullmen, and I decided to write REAL INFLUENCE: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In (go to that link for some special free resources to coincide with our launch and ways to learn more) which was published today. After interviewing more than 100 influential people who mainly spoke to us about who influenced them we distilled a 4 Step Model that was common to positive influence. 

In retrospect we have discovered that not only are the steps the keys to being a positive influence, they are all "anti-selfish."

  1. Go for Great Outcomes - This is not merely about finding out where people or companies want to go or be, but helping them see what or who they could be. The sign that you you have reached that with a person or your people is that they pause, think, smile and say, "Do you think that's really possible? Could we really do that or be that?" On the other hand, selfish people focus more on What's In It For Themselves.
  2. Listen Past Your Blind Spots - After you have been so extremely magnamous and generous with others, there is a natural tendency to quickly seek something in return.  At its most gauche form it's an obvious "bait and switch."  In a more discrete form it merely leaves the other person with sensing they have been had.  In this step, be aware of this tendency and resist the tendency to give into it.   As for selfish people... they actively and even eagerly give into this tendency.
  3. Engage Other at "Their There" - "Your Here" is "What's in it for you?" "Their There" is "What's in it for them?" Done properly people feel you "Get It" (their situation), "Get Them" (where they personally are in that situation) and "Get Their Possibility" (which is the way to where and who they could be). When you fulling let go of "Your Here" to go to "Their There" people lean towards you as you tap into the deep hunger in people to trust safely. There are also 4 levels of listening that will often connect you to people more than anyone else in their lives.Selfish people never get out of their "Your Here."
  4. When You've Done Enough... Do More - This is about being so prepared that you may understand where the other person is, better than they themselves.  It's also about listening very deeply when you're with them so they feel heard, understood, valued and even "felt."  And finally it's about doing much more after you're with people.  It's like follow through on steroids. Selfish people are focused on making sure the other person has done much more... for them.

If you're feeling too selfish to do the above (and I'm quessing that means you haven't read this far), try thinking of a special person who did all of the above with you.  What was their influence on you? 

Have you fallen prey to one of the worst tragedies in life which is to focus so much on those who didn't care about you that you neglect to savor, appreciate and thank those who did?

Instead of continuing to be selfish, maybe its time to be grateful and multiply.

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