good advice

If you’ve ever worked in an office of any sort, you’re probably familiar with the “who moved my cheese” or “the Fred factor”, or “Good to Great” or “the fish philosophy” type of books. I actually like that kind of stuff. I mean what’s wrong with leaders wanting their people to be the best they can be? At my current job, we use the Gallup Strengths Finder. Your first day of work, you are given the book and asked to take the Strenghsfinder test, which is actually really nice since the first day at a new job can be really awkward when you don’t have anything to do and don’t really know what you are SUPPOSED to do! So anyway, the book you are given has a code on the inside of it and it can only be used once – so for instance, you could borrow and read my book, but you can’t take the test since I’ve already used the code. I wish you could, as I LOVE this instrument. I have found it to be very accurate in describing people. The idea is that we all have strengths, and instead of focusing on things we aren’t good at, we should be placed in an environment that allows our strengths to thrive. My top 5 strengths are: Developer – Maximizer – Empathy – Positivity – Includer. (So I’m basically ‘perfect” (lol) for my job of developing new teachers into being the best they can be, while being empathetic and positive as they experience struggles.) Here are brief descriptions of the 34 themes. Wow, I totally went off on a tangent there.

My point of this blog was to share some good advice from one of these other types of books. My current coordinators are amazing people. They truly treat us as PEOPLE first, EMPLOYEES second. That can be difficult to do. They had both mentioned a book called The Four Agreements as something that influenced their leadership style, so I asked if I could borrow it. Well, I didn’t really care for the book. It’s kind of written through a hippie-spiritual-healing crystal type lens. However, I LOVE the four agreements. I’m sure you can find them all in the bible somewhere, because, well – obviously. Anyway, I wanted to share them with you.

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you
can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment,
self-abuse and regret.

I have them printed out (and matted nicely on two different colors of cardstock) and hanging in my office. They are good reminders. I know that I drive the MWG crazy with them sometimes – especially the “don’t make assumptions” one… we’ll be in the car and somebody cuts us off and he gets mad, and I’m all, “Assume the best! For all you know, they are rushing to the hospital to be at their dying mother’s bedside and just really need to get there in a hurry!” I’m sure it gets annoying, but he is a good sport. Anyway, do with them what you will.


Pat said...

A Christian strengths finder book has been ordered at our office for whoever wants to read it/fill out the questionnaire. Thanks for the recommendation. I like the Four agreements, too, which are certainly found in the bible, but haven't taken the time to look 'em up! Giving the benefit of the doubt when driving is absolutely necessary to keep from going nuts!

sarahsmile3 said...

Really good post, Rach. The description of your strengths is right on! You are one of the most positive people I know. Love that about you.I also like the Four Agreements and think I will display them in my office as well.
It will go nicely with the other phrase I wanted to print out: "You're the best, around. Nothings ever gonna keep you down!" -Lyrics by Joe Esposito (song from The Karate Kid) HA!

Amy said...

Amen. I love this post - especially the Agreements on taking things personally and not making assumptions. Although I don't stick to those as much as I wish I would, it sure does make life easier when I do!

Anonymous said...

I read the Four Agreements a while back and was moved by the impeccable with your word area - I remember him saying how Hitler changed the world merely with words....definitely makes you think. Sometimes when I say things to Colin I imagine that I'm saying them to myself to see if possibly they might be hurtful or rude or just mean. I cannot stand watching couples who can't talk to each other kindly.

Your last paragraph made me laugh b/c I went to the salon last week and I got there EARLY as I always am and as I was getting changed for my pending highlights she tells me that a guy, who was scheduled before me, just showed up and would I mind if she took a quick 15 min to cut his hair. Man, I was really mad - I was on time etc etc - he didn't even apologize to me. The only thing that saved him is that in my mind, he was going to propose to his girlfriend or had a big job interview and really needed that haircut. Not as important as your example, but at least he didn't have to wait 3 hours to get his hair cut!