The whole point of Zentivity™ is to help you create a calm, peaceful, powerful and conscious life, to help you be the best you can be. I work on this every day. The importance of awareness in every interaction cannot be overstated. We are responsible for the impact we make on the world. The world will only be changed one person at a time; and since we can’t change anyone else (I’m sure you know that) we need to begin with ourselves. One interaction at a time.
Even though I love this stuff, and teach it (mostly because that is the best way to learn,) I still mess up sometimes. One important concept of Principle #3 Nurture Awareness, is to be aware at all times of your thoughts, watching for clues from others and being conscious of how you are communicating.
The other day, I was a little preoccupied by a stressful event the evening before. At a meeting, the following morning, a colleague shared her distress about a particular thing going on in her life, and instead of validating or letting her talk about it to me, I started right in with, “I know how you feel….” And then continued to share my experience about the evening before. Ugh.
I could see her eyes glaze over almost immediately. She didn’t care about my experience. She needed to talk more about hers. Of course, I knew that. I hate when people do that to me. It is self centered and inconsiderate and completely invalidating to the other person. You probably notice that people do that all the time. Right?
That doesn’t make it ok. As soon as I realized what I had done, I turned the conversation back to her and said something like, “So what did you do?” or something that invited her to start talking about her experience again.
Almost as if a wall was literally torn down right in front of me, she lit up again and told me about the rest of her problem. I never brought up my situation again and she never asked. It was not about me. It was about her.
Why is this important? Is it really a big deal? It’s important because establishing trusting relationships is vital in business. And yes, it’s a big deal because showing people you care is how to build those trusting relationships. Being self-focused will not only NOT draw people to you, but it will drive them away. If people can’t trust you with their heart, they won’t refer to you. They won’t respond to you. They won’t promote you. They won’t give you the benefit of the doubt. You will make your life more difficult.
So, by validating others, you are actually enhancing your own life at the same time. Stealing someone’s thunder is not a way to do that.
Can you think of a time when someone has done this to you? How did it make you feel? Please share in the comments below.