Understanding is Not ‘ASS’epting

head up ass

How many of you work with people that you have to listen to?  And of these people that you have to listen to, how many of them think they know what they are doing but simply just don’t have a clue?

Nothing is more irritating than failing because the people responsible over you simply will not LISTEN to you.

In my humble opinion, one of the top 10 best books ever written is the late Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Please notice the habit that I have highlighted out of the entire list:

Habit One:  Be Proactive

Habit Two:  Begin with the End in Mind

Habit Three:  Keep First Things First

Habit Four:  Think Win – Win

Habit Five:  Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood

Habit Six:  Synergize

Habit Seven:  Sharpen the Saw

Maybe one of these days, I will post about all 7 Habits, keeping it brief enough that you don’t bust your laptop up with your head after having fallen asleep next to that cup of coffee you may not have finished along with such a long article.  But right now, I simply highlight this particular habit, because it is one that many of those leaders — legendary in their own minds — somehow miss the bus on.

I’ll give you a perfect example.  I have worked for leaders who have watched me fail over and over again at the same task.  I’ve asked for their help in obtaining training to improve the specific task, and they pretend that I never even bothered to ask.  Then, eventually, I end up getting written up for poor work performance in that task.

First of all, and foremost, a REAL leader CARES about and RESPECTS his people.  Caring and respecting, in my humble opinion, means taking the time to get to know each and every one of your fellow workers.  If something seems to be bothering one of them, simply ask them if everything is okay.  And when they answer, don’t allow yourself to become sidetracked by your own personal thoughts and concerns.  FOCUS on THEM.  Don’t just PRETEND to care…REALLY CARE!  Find a way to alleviate their concerns.  If they are having family problems, suggest they take some time off from work if they can afford to do so.  BE supportive to the VERY BEST of your ability.

Some of us, by nature, may be selfish; but if we exercise this level of care, time, and attention to others time and time again, our efforts will eventually become legitimate, transforming us from a self-centered brat into something much more meaningful in the lives of others, not just our own minds as is the case with many ineffective leaders in the professional world.

You have some who are simply too old school to understand this.  They fool themselves into thinking:  If they are terrified of me, they will perform their jobs and tasks out of fear of punishment that may even include termination of employment.  They simply do not see the forest for all the trees.  They fail to see that, even if these people — simply trying to survive to feed their families and make a fair wage — end up getting fired, there are other employers who are more fair and will hire them, succeeding in tapping the very resources that these other ass-hats were too dumb and inconsiderate to fully access.

Dr. Covey also directed attention to a philosophical thinker named Goethe who said:  “If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”

If these idiots would take the time to extract their heads from their over-stretched asses, then they would actually realize that all of this makes PERFECT sense.  If they would stop TERRORIZING their subordinates and instead start EMPATHIZING with them, then they would reap so much more from them!  Most important of all, they will have earned the best thing from them that even money cannot buy:  THEIR DEEPEST AND MOST SINCERE RESPECT!


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