Opening up

The only way to get people to share their ideas, their thoughts, their feelings, their problems, their feedback, is for you to shut up.

If you keep talking, they will stop thinking. If you interrupt them, they will give up trying. If you go first – particularly if you are in a position of power – they will just repeat what you said.

To get people to open up you have to willing to give them space and just listen.

Confidence

You don’t always have an answer, you don’t always know what to do, you don’t always understand what is happening.

The trick is not to try to fake it. Not to try to escape it.

If you can just stay with the feeling for a while, what you need will come.

Confidence is about being at ease with uncertainty, without wanting to get rid of it at all costs.

Share and play back

Help people by sharing what others think, and they will find a way to interpret that and apply it to their lives.

Help people by playing back what they think, and they will find a way to figure out themselves and be consistent in their lives.

On the other hand, help people by telling them what others mean or what to do, and they will just ignore, even when you approach them with the best of intentions.

Cookies in a jar

When you are looking for a culprit, remember there’s always someone who ate the last cookie in the jar.

Of course, that jar was full at some point. And the person who ate the last cookie might be the one who ate them all, the one who ate most of them, the one who ate some of them, or the one who just ate that last one.

Blame is assigned with great ease to those who are most exposed.

But if it’s reasons you are after, if you want to avoid the jar getting empty sooner than you expected the next time you fill it with your favourite cookies, you have to look a bit farther, a bit deeper, a bit more carefully.

Surprise

You have got to give yourself the chance to be surprised.

Not because you are unprepared. Not because you had not thought about something enough. Not because someone is trying to get ahead of you. Not because you have lost the bigger picture.

Just because people are surprising, and you got to give them credit for it as well as allow yourself to feel positively about it, without feeling in any way diminished.