Most people have never been taught the following sequence:
You want people see you as someone who is self aware.
You want people to see you as someone who self monitors your internal thoughts and external behaviors. (These are both critical facets of both Emotional Intelligence and Self Regulation)
This is obvious to others, for example, when you are in tune with your appearance.
For example, they see you for the first time as you enter the room. They have not met you before, so your entrance is the imprint.
Now they observe you make minor refinements your appearance when out in public. You wipe the piece of lint from your lapel. You straighten your hair. You drink slowly instead of in gulps. People notice your minor behaviors and attribute minor points in your favor when you perform those behaviors.
But, when you fail to do so, even when you cannot see what is in between your two front teeth, those respect points and then some, are rapidly taken from you.
Once people know you, respect and power is bestowed upon you when you accomplish and complete tasks and projects.
OK, so specifically how do you want others to see you so that you are given that trust, respect and power?
And once you are known to complete, people listen to your words and know they are true and accurate.
For example, when you have mastered self regulation and say you are going to write the novel, that is not some metaphysical goal. It is a statement of fact. You do it. It is completed one year from now. But your listener knows it will be so as sure as night follows day. There is no doubt.
I was asked in an interview recently if people ever bother asking me if I am really going to do what I say I am going to do.
I had to think about it. (Family? Friends? Business? Inner Circle? Next book? Next Event? Get the yard cleaned, the house repaired, the shopping done, the house cleaned, get my kids prepped for the rest of their lives.)
I felt uncomfortable saying, I do not recall the last time I said something would happen and through my own neglect, it did not (or will not) happen.
In fact, when life happens (you know the bad stuff in life that happens to everyone and often in spades), I can be very honest with those closest to me. I will tell a close friend or family member that I feel weak for some reason. Consistently people have responded that they did not doubt for a second that something could get in my way and stop me from accomplishing what I said I was going to do.
Now THAT is a little scary and as I type this it feels like there is pressure.
The fact is that other people often know you far better than you know yourself.
The story you want people to tell about you is your version of this story that happened in Poland, 18 years ago.
Write down YOUR STORY after you have read THIS story.
My promoter, translator and assistant were all with me and unbeknownst to me, we were scheduled to spend TWO nights at a convent.
This bizarre twist happened because we had negotiated a deal with the health ministry in the government such that they were paying me so much money they had no budget remaining for the ACCOMMODATIONS! The THREE venues in Warsaw (remember this is 2002) that could hold a meeting of any size were all booked. I assumed I would present my work to the health ministry at ONE of those venues in Warsaw.
Now remember this was before Warsaw and Krakow transitioned into the more cosmopolitan destinations they are a decade later. The Poland of 2002 was not modern in any sense of the word.
For whatever reason the meeting was going to be held in this big convent where I was certain to feel very out of place and uncomfortable.
The greater frustration was the context. I was in Poland to assist with integrating influence technology into slowing the spread of HIV-AIDs at the level of media and with those most at risk. Young girls and truckers.
And there was a further complication. The Pope of the Catholic Church was from Poland and we were in a building that was dedicated to serving the church. A church that stood strongly against the use of condoms.
I had to change that thinking.
And people ask if I ever cause people to do something they would not normally do?!?!?!!?!? Continue the story on the next page…