My Top 5 Suggestions On How To Win, Socially
- OR -
Don't Be A "Suzy"
MEN - DON'T TUNE OUT just because the example name is "Suzy"! I've actually encountered MORE men who use this behavior than women! Ok... onward with the blog... :)
PREFACE: One sleepless evening that followed a rather frustrating social encounter, I browsed the internet for tips on dealing with difficult people. A line that I stumbled upon caught my attention. It just made sense. It said something to the effect of "What Suzy says of Sally says more about Suzy than Sally."
"What Suzy says of Sally says more about Suzy than Sally."
Read it again. Let that sink in.
What does that mean?? Many people will picture a gossipy woman. Don't worry, ladies, guys gossip and act selfishly, too. However, for the sake of a more simplified lesson, I've chosen one name for my examples: Suzy. The social offender (Suzy) perhaps feels something negative within, and what she says about Sally projects her own insecurities. The words she speaks reveal the level of cleanliness of what's been allowed to fester within her soul. (1)
The words she speaks reveal the level of cleanliness of what's been allowed to fester within her soul.
I have observed many examples of "Suzy" in my own life, both in strictly professional and social realms. From seeing someone stomp others' professional reputations so that they, themselves, can climb upwards and earn a trusted spot with key leaders, to moments that were intended to honor others but were instead used for roasting, and finally, to using people as tools rather than taking time to truly know them, these people have often shown what lies deep within - without even realizing it. (2)
This "Suzy" issue - Words, and how we use them to treat others - Is such a rampantly abused area of life that many books have been written to help people change for the better. Bottom line? Don't be a "Suzy". For the men out there, don't be a "Sal". Call it what you want to, just don't be that person. How does one change their ways, you ask? I'm so glad you asked. Without further ado, please see below. :)
My Top 5 Suggestions for How To Win, Socially
- In Professional & Social Life -
Do I have a self-centered issue in my leadership style and social communication methods? (3) Am I building my team up, or am I using and abusing them to make myself look good? Do my team members run when they see me coming? I suggest writing down anything that comes to mind that's worth working on, and setting a few personal goals to accomplish.
Readings for genuine, personal change. For business perspective, everyone ought to take time to read Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People". Also, "The One Minute Manager" by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson and "Jesus on Leadership - Timeless Wisdom on Servant Leadership" by C. Gene Wilkes both offer great ideas on how to lead a team in a way that's meaningful and inspiring. There are many principles from scriptures that address friends and leaders, as well. An easy internet search will turn up all kinds of references.
3. Ask for help from people you can truly trust
Trustworthiness is key. Find someone who will encourage you, not cut you down, and share with them your desire to improve in the way you deal with others. Tell them the specific tendencies that they ought to watch for, and ask them to gently bring it to your attention when you're observed carrying out the behavior. Look for someone who is kind and doesn't talk about others. (4) As a Christian, myself, I'd definitely recommend that the first trustworthy one you turn to be God :) Prayer is a wonderful habit to start; it's never too late for anyone to start asking God for help.
4. Practice makes habit
Eliminate the negative: The more you bite your tongue and resist the urge to make fun of someone, the easier it will become. The less you allow yourself to give in to writing that poisoned-pen-letter, the easier it will be to not even see it as a option in the future. It's the classic "if.... then" scenario. IF I intently fix my mind and heart to not participate in what dirties my social interactions, THEN I will see results that help me clean up my bad habits.
Accentuate the positive: Aside from setting goals for behaviors to correct, practice creating new, good social and interpersonal habits! Get a journal, use your notes section on your phone, set a computer reminder... whatever works best for you... and start by setting a goal to do something positive. For example, you might set a goal to notice others in the office doing something worth praising verbally, and then take the opportunity to recognize their efforts. Once you've accomplished this habit and it's part of your new interpersonal routine, add another! There's nowhere to go, here, but up!
5. Observe your results
You'll see both personal happiness and happiness from others around you. You'll be the kind of leader that people WANT to follow, not the kind of leader people HAVE to follow if they want to stay on your "good side", or for fear of their job or their reputation.
NOTE - When you noticed a number inside parenthesis after a particular sentence, they're being used to denote points that align with a particular biblical passage. Whether you adhere to Christianity or not, I've found these scriptures are good principles for all to observe and emulate. To see a list of these passages, click the numbers or click here.
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog! Please leave a comment, below, and I'll do my best to respond.