My friend past away. He was a dear friend and he died due to diabetes that he had most of his life. At his funeral I realized a common theme that was coming out of the mouths of everyone who I met that day. It was that he is being remembered for how much he gave to others.
He taught at the design school we went to, and he always had extra time for his students. His friends all knew they could call him and he would make time to listen to what they had to say. His work mates knew him as a guy who would continually give more to their work to help them succeed. It was as if he knew the clock was ticking and he had to make it count.
The truth is the clock is ticking for all of us. In my own darkness I did a search for how to lead myself. I came across leadership videos that were focused on understanding behavior. Much of these videos were intended for business and leading teams. So I searched more. Soon I found some authors who wrote about these kinds of ideas. So I read more. Then I started to borrow the language that I was watching and reading. This is a sign that I was really learning it. The funny thing that happened is that I started feeling better.
Soon I was able to recognize behavior in other people. Soon I was finding myself being able to think and do in ways that when I started I did not understand. What I did know is that I wanted to give. Give like my friend had to his students, friends and colleagues. I knew I was capable of helping others have confidence in themselves.
These powerpoint shaped posters were made as reminders of things I can do each day to improve my connection to people. To go from guessing what my be happening for someone to knowing what is happening for someone. The idea is to make these posters visible at my desk. Or, post them around an office so everyone on a team can also practice engagement with other people. There is only one requirement. You have to mean it. In asking one of these questions, you have to be willing to invest all of your concentration in listening to the answer. Try it and see what happens.