“Happiness is a choice that requires efforts at times.”-Aeschylus.
Making choices is a hard thing to do. What could be even harder than that? Saying “no”, if you are a people-pleaser.
Some of us are hardwired with the need to say yes all the time which puts us in hard situations at times. When it is about either meeting your needs or pleasing others, you find yourself in a tricky situation.
You are afraid of being rude and you want to help because you are a kind soul. You don’t want to decline any requests you get but also you have your own needs to fulfill. The moment feels like it’s a “lose-lose” situation whichever option you choose. Finding a way out of such situations is a tough job.
Here below are some ways to meet your needs and make others happy at the same time.Advertising
1. Know the difference between self-care and selfishness
You don’t want to look selfish when you decline a request but self-care isn’t selfishness. Avoiding stressful moments isn’t selfishness – rather it is self-care. Selfishness is when you indulge too much in yourself without caring for the strings attached to you.
It isn’t healthy if you keep ignoring your own needs just because you are too good to say “no” or you have picked up a habit of saying “yes” to everything. You can’t care for others if you don’t take care of yourself first.
2. Realize that you have a choice
When you find yourself in a situation, reluctant to say “no” to a request, the first thing you should bear in mind is that you are free to make your own choice.
You don’t always have to say “yes” to propositions that conflict with your needs. You can choose to say “no” and any reasonable person will respect your choice. The choice is yours. You don’t really need to sacrifice your needs to make others happy. It’s just that you need a little self-care at the moment so that you can be of much more help to them in the future.
3. Propose something else
Now that you have made your choice to decline the request, everything else from that moment onwards depends only on the way you present your choice to the other party. Support your decision with good reasons and suggest something else to help.Advertising
This shows your willingness to help but unfortunately, you can’t take them up on their request. The notion is to keep everyone happy. If you can’t give your time to the request, perhaps suggest someone else who could tend to it. That ought to keep your nose out of it.
4. Present yourself non-aggressively
You have to make sure that you choose only the polite words as you explain yourself to the other person. Sometimes, pushy people tend to get on our nerves but presenting yourself angry and aggressive will certainly play against you in any situation. It is not different in this situation.
It would be wise to avoid dealing with such people. The wiser thing to do would be to anticipate the request and to decline it gently before they even get the opportunity to put it through to you. Anger is the worst enemy of mankind. Keep calm at all times and tackle the situation with your wit.
5. Understand that you are of equal worth to anybody else
Do not undermine yourself. You don’t have to agree to everything that other people say just because you feel that they are worth more than yourself. That’s the first step towards your peace of mind. Do not succumb to bullying or whining. If you don’t respect yourself, it opens the door for others to disrespect you as well.
We have been taught to “give” and “love” and never to expect anything from anyone, but you can always give and love and expect everything from yourself. Know your worth and don’t be afraid to reject requests at times when it matters.Advertising
6. Set priorities and clear boundaries
Ask yourself “What are the most important things to me?” – then schedule them accordingly. Knowing your priorities helps you take the right decision.
A rather clinical approach to take care of the situation would be to weight your needs against the need of the other party and decide on whichever option is likely to bring the greater value of happiness. Know your limits and set boundaries to keep yourself within your comfort zone.
7. Be assertive
Assertiveness is the character of leaders. When you voice out your thoughts with a good deal of assertion, you paint a good image of yourself in people’s mind. Then, people tend to go with whatever you say. Be firm and not very apologetic. Your strong persona does all the work for you here.
But if your statements seem to lack respect, it backfires on you. People take it for rudeness. So, make sure you are being polite and respectful. It helps a lot if you practice choosing the right words for the right scenario.
8. Understand that the happier you are, the more capable you are of making others happy
A positive energy radiates out when you are happy. Happiness is contagious.Advertising
Try and be happy with the choices you make. Happy people make other people happy. If you don’t make yourself happy first, you won’t be able to make anyone else happy. When your loved ones see you happy, it brings happiness in them as well.
9. Learn and accept the fact that sometimes making compromise is a must
Understand that sometimes compromises must be made. It’s all a matter of priorities. If for instance, you’re busy building your website, that’s clearly important. But what if your friend calls in that his home is on fire and he needs you to help? That’s not only important but also urgent. So you have to leave your job and compromise. In other words, sometimes what people are asking of you could be of higher priority to be attended to than your own needs.
You should make a compromise if the request outweighs your needs. Buddha said, “Being generous, just helping one’s relatives and being blameless in one’s actions; this is the best good luck”
10. Go easy on yourself
Realize that you can’t be everything to everyone. Acknowledge that you can’t do everything, after all, everybody has limits. Explain your reasons sincerely. Keep it simple and go easy on yourself.
Avoid the self-conflict by being sincere to yourself. Self-soothe by telling yourself that “what I did is in the best interest of everybody”. You’ll do just fine in every situation.
Featured photo credit: Smiling Girl via upload.wikimedia.org
Last Updated on December 9, 2019
What Makes a Good Leader: 10 Critical Leadership Qualities
The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge. High-ranking people – your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…
But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.
Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.
So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?
Good leadership is about acquiring and honing skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or at the workplace.
The following is a list of characteristics of a leader who successfully leads a great team:
1. Stay Positive, Even in the Worst Situations
Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and, by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.
Even some simple things like providing cupcakes or beers on Fridays can make the world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.
Even in the worst situations such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figure out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.
Walt Disney (1901-1966), had his share of hardships and challenges; and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse.
What Can You Learn from Walt Disney?
Break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.
Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down — Because sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.
2. Exhibit Confidence Everywhere
All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.
Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high and the problem will be solved more quickly.
If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go down hill from there.
Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.
What Can You Learn from Elon Musk?
You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:
- List 10 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll be more confident about yourself.
- Work on your strengths, do your best to enhance them.
3. Have a Sense of Humor
It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.
Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off, because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.
Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the work place.
As president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes”, his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns. Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest – no doubt that helped during some tense moments in the White House!
What Can You Learn from Barak Obama?
Laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.
Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspirations from the internet.
4. Embrace Failures and Manage Set Backs
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.
Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear and binge-drinking under desks.
Great leaders do in fact lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.
Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.
What Can You Learn from Walt Disney?
Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.
To do this, use the 5 Whys problem solving framework.
By asking “why” for 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.
You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.
5. Listen, and Give Feedback
This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.
The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.
The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.
What Can You Learn from Dalai Lama?
Encourage communication between team members and establishing an open door policy.
Practice not to interrupt team members when they’re talking.
Summarize what they say and ask for feedback every time after you have talked about your ideas.
6. Know How and When to Delegate
No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.
Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.
Although Steve Jobs is known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members – like Tim Cook – Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even while he had to be absent for extended periods of time.
What Can You Learn from Steve Jobs?
To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:
- List out all of their strengths, weaknesses and personalities.
- Talk with your team members more too to know more about their passion and interests.
Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)
7. Inspire and Grow People Around
Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.
Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.
Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk drew attention, because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.
What Can You Learn from Pope Francis?
Spend time to talk with other team members individually to understand them.
Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.
8. Take Responsibility and Never Blame Others
Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?
The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.
Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind. This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.
What Can You Learn from Howard Gillman?
Ask yourself what you could have done better to prevent this from happening.
Take the responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.
9. Make Decisions Based on Lessons Learned in the Past
It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career (figuratively, of course). Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.
Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.
You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories, or search from your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).
Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely – and it shows.
What Can You Learn from Warren Buffett?
Write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made.
Have all the lessons well organized and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.
10. Lead by Example and Commit to Do the Best
Great leaders stick to their commitments and promises, and they are the most committed and hard working ones on the job. All great leaders lead by example.
Why should your staff and team members give it their all if you don’t bother to? By proving your own commitment, great leaders will inspire others to do the same, as well as earn their respect and instill a good work ethic.
After 15 years of house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi was voted state counsellor in Myanmar – one of the highest-profile and most powerful positions in the country. She became a symbol of peaceful resistance when she attempted to bring democracy to her country. In the early years of her detention, she was often in solitary confinement. Suu Kyi is a perfect example of committed and belief-driven leadership, which she openly demonstrated during her many years of house arrest.
What Can You Learn from Aung San Suu Kyi?
Some people learn by observing the way you perform a task, some need more detailed guidelines.
So dedicate time to demonstrate your work to team members, let them observe how you do it. Summarize the skills you use and let team members know how you make difficult things work.
The Bottom Line
Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader too.
Make small changes your habits when you work with your team – wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs.
But we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.
More About Leadership
- Leadership vs Management: Is One Better Than the Other?
- Why Leadership and Management Are Two Sides of a Coin
- 15 Best Leadership Books Every Leader Must Read To Achieve Success
- Master These 10 Management Skills to Become a Strong Leader
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com
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|||^||The New York Times: A College Admits a Big Mistake. Imagine That|
|||^||Business Insider: Warren Buffett Admits To 5 Big Mistakes|
|||^||BBC News: Profile: Aung San Suu Kyi|