The other day, I stumbled upon this quote:
“Always start a relationship by asking: Do I have ulterior motives for wanting to relate to this person? Is my caring conditional? Am I planning to change the person? Do I need this person to help me make up for a deficiency in myself? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, leave the person alone. He or she is better off without you.” Leo Buscaglia
Really? I mean, really? So, what do I do if I am in a leading position? Is it not my job to change the other person to become a better employee, a better student, a better teammate? I mean, come on, they really need a little help to become better, and I can do that. The truth is: We cannot change the other person. If you are like me, and like most other human beings, you have probably tried in the past. My experience showed me that it takes a lot of energy from me, that it often leads to non-productive arguing and that results are not really that great. What the other person does is essentially none of our business. But wait, does this mean that we give up to shape the world? No, I don’t think so. It just means that we give up a non-productive approach in search for a better one.
There is our business, the others business and Gods business. There is actually only one business we can run: our own. If we try to mentally run others business, or Gods business, we are trying to run things outside of our control. And then who is running my business? Transformation and leadership is an inside-job. We change ourselves, then we model that change for others. If we allow others to connect deeply with us, we give them a chance to learn from us. Then they can see for themselves if what they see in us appeals to them and decide whether they want to copy that. When we try to change people, it is hard to meet people as they are. Only when people feel safe, they open up and become curious. And then we can build relationships where we can truly meet each other and where transformation can take place.
What is your approach to influencing others?