Qualities of Effective People
Believe there is no such thing as perfection
Actually this is a self evident truth. There is nothing in the world which is perfect. Those who believe in perfection cause misery for themselves and others. They believe that there is nothing else for them to do because things are perfect already. Alternatively, people who believe in perfection, believe that nothing is good enough and is never ready, because it is not perfect. Effective people know there is always something else which can be done to improve things, and by the same token that they will never actually make something perfect, so the solution is acceptable when it is optimum. There are optimum solutions, not perfect ones.
When we believe in perfection, we tend to use words like 'must' and 'should.' For example, 'People ought to do that.' When we say this, we mean 'People don't do this', and 'I want them to do it', and 'I am not going to do anything to get them to do it, except moan!' In this case, being unrealistic is counter productive.
Believe the basic intention of life, the universe, people, etc, is relatively good
People always believe that they are right and are doing good, from their own perspective. Even the most evil person from our perspective believes he or she is doing right. Otherwise, they wouldn't be doing what they are doing! No one holds a false belief. No one says, 'I believe this', and add, 'but I know it is false.' They always believe they are right. Even a person who says they are evil, believes this is right and good. If we believe that people are evil, we may become frightened of them and react to them unpleasantly, and they in turn will behave worse to us.
Likewise, if we believe that people or things are absolutely good, then we treat them as Gods or angels and, clearly we do not react to them as they really are because no one is a god or an angel.
When we believe that things are basically good, then we begin to understand them better. If we think someone is evil, we will imagine that we cannot influence them or we will try to influence from our belief-value that they are bad. This will never be effective, because they believe they are good, and doing what is right, so they will never relate to our belief that they are bad. They will simply believe that we are bad! By believing they do, even bad things, from a good intention we can better understand them and begin to influence them, because we take the trouble to understand them and how they think, rather than to fight them head on in terms of the values of good and bad.
This is a key concept. We should set our seeds according to the soil!
Seek only obtaining a result, a decision, a change, not to win or lose.
When we seek to win, we become anxious about the result. We may procrastinate and do nothing to win because we might lose. The effective person, because they can happily win or lose, and because they seek a result, they do not fear asking for what they want or doing what they think will lead to their goal. This does not mean that the effective person doesn't want to win, or sometimes lose. It means that they know that without getting a decision, taking action or non-action, that they are losing already. Losing is the normal state. Therefore, it cannot be good or bad, it's where we start off from. So by taking action or non-action or getting the decision they have nothing to lose, and can only gain, if not on this occasion, then in the future. For example, if we want the afternoon off from work, we do not have the afternoon off from work (Otherwise we wouldn't want it, but would have it!). When we ask, we might get a 'No', but that is where we are now. That isn't a loss, but it is the gain of useful information. And taking action, by asking, is the only way we can succeed.
Here we have an irony, that by seeking to win, we increase our likelihood of losing.
Believe there is no failure or success, only feedback, knowledge
This belief links to the previous one. The Effective person does not fear failure, because he or she does not believe in failure or success. They obtain feedback. This does not mean that the Effective person doesn't want to succeed. It means that they will succeed because they seek feedback. This leads to the next belief.
Act with integrity and honesty.
One of the great secrets of a successful and happy life if to act with integrity and honesty. When we were little children we were told we should be honest, and we were told this meant telling the truth. We were given this simple meaning because we were too young and inexperienced to fully understand the success technique of honesty and integrity. Of course, telling the truth got us into a lot of trouble. Even adults will say, "Well, I was telling the truth. It was right."
Of course, telling the truth is important and is a big part of integrity and honesty. But it clearly means more than this, and telling the truth is not an essential part. Moral qualities, that is, ways of living our life successfully, are good. And sometimes telling the truth is bad, as when this causes great upset in the other person for no good reason. This is not acting with honesty and integrity! Although it is better to tell the truth, it is not always better to tell it! Some people are verbally incontinent and will tell you everything, even personal things, and this is not behaving with integrity and honesty.
Although no one can properly define these concepts, we all know what they mean. By putting aside our childish definitions, we can understand and live these concepts and reap all the benefits.
Do something else, or stop doing nothing, if things are not to their preference.
When the feedback or knowledge that the Effective person gains is not to his or her preference, then they do something else. They do something, if they are doing nothing, or they change what they were doing, or do nothing. They know, 'If you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you always got.' They do not believe that things will turn out right. They realise that they need to change to get a different result. 'If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got!" To believe differently, is crazy.
View ideas and thoughts from various viewpoints.
We all know that we are supposed to view things from the other's point of view as well as our own. But how many of us do it? As children we are limited to our own viewpoint and we cannot see the viewpoints of others. And when we grow up, we often do not realise that we have progressed far enough to think about things from various viewpoints.
If we learn this skill, our ability to influence others and to avoid upsets will have increased manyfold.
Have a clear idea of objectives
The effective person thinks out what he or she wants. They have a clear idea of what they want to achieve. They do not seek to gain what they want in one fell swoop. They know they will get feedback, and they act or not act in order to produce a result. They repeat these actions until they attain their goal or objective. 'If they didn't know where they were going, they'd usually end up somewhere else!'
Believe mind and Body are part of the same system
This might sound metaphysical, but many people, if not all of us, are to some degree not closely in touch with our bodies and our minds. To feel better mentally, we might look to improving the body. When improving the body, we might take care to care for our minds. Over indulgence in one or the other will not help either.
We assume that there is a correspondence between what we call mind and what we call body. So when there are certain things occurring in the mind, there are corresponding events occurring in the body; and when there are certain events occurring in the body there are corresponding ones occurring in the mind.
We need to clarify the above. It is not only a scientific statement. It is not saying only that when we think there are certain physical-chemical events occurring in the brain at the same time. It is, rather, also a personal development statement. So when we are worried about something, it is not just that we are having certain thoughts, but that we are having certain feelings in the body, which, should we bother to do so, we can experience. For example, if we are concerned about what we should do about something we have certain thoughts which we may or may not be able to articulate, and we have certain feelings in our bodies, which we may or may not be aware of at the time. Put simply, successful personal development occurs when both bodily and mental experiences are dealt with. We have in mind here such techniques as focussing and six-step reframing.
(This part is influenced by the work of Bandler and Grinder and others.)
Copyright © 1998-2000 Ken Ward, All Rights Reserved.