I talked with my grandmother this morning, she’s 92 and I call her a few times each month. Her memory is not what it once was, and often we have the same conversation - the weather, family, my work, people. We almost always talk about people, particularly the attitudes that people hold.
I find it insightful and it often relates to my work. She drops some elder-wisdom on me, and I truly enjoy how she words things. I doubt that she would find meaning in the phrase “emotional intelligence” though we often talk about exactly that - particularly the area of self-awareness.
During one of our recent chats, she said something along the lines of “and Tim, some people are just grumpy with themselves and how are they gonna be kind to anyone else, if they can’t be kind to themselves.” That one stuck with me for a while. I first connected it to self-awareness and self talk, and as I thought on it more I recognized the aspects of a growth mindset hidden in her words.
Acting “grumpy with yourself” doesn’t just represent your self-talk, it’s deeper than that - it shows how you treat yourself, how you experience yourself. And, I deeply believe that the relationship we have with ourselves influences ALL of our other relationships. As a leader, think how much of your work relies on relationships - could you estimate that as a percentage? And what about your results? What percentage of your results come from relationships?
In my coaching work, I often encourage leaders to look at their self-awareness, at their self-talk, at their mindset. Imagine how your mindset filters your worldview. How might a different filter shift that view? How might that different view affect your relationships, your results?
Like any shift, it starts with creating awareness. Are you grumpy with yourself? Are you willing to look at that? Are you willing to look at how it affects you? And, if you find that you are, do you want something different for yourself? Do you have the desire to treat yourself better?
I’ll leave you with this old adage - “would you let someone else treat you, the way you treat yourself?”
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