The universe doesn’t operate according to what ‘should be’; it just is. Recognizing this is a central component of successful management psychology and effective leading.
Accepting and Valuing Self
Perhaps the single most straightforward way to become at ease with yourself is to accept yourself for who and what you are. Accepting yourself removes the need to try and appear to others as anything other than who you really are. When how you really are doesn’t quite match up with how you would like to appear to others — and when, as inevitably happens, others can distinguish the reality from the wishful thinking — the mismatch saps confidence and generates uneasiness in them and in you. Conversely, when the two do match up — when “what you see is what you get” — that matching up inspires confidence not only in yourself but also in others. This relates closely to the coaching principle on honesty and transparency, or authenticity.
A good mentor or business coach helps develop this character trait by:
- Respecting and valuing you,
- Exploring with you your own feelings about yourself and the benefits of being who you are, and
- Helping you to evaluate accurately the downside of being who you are (it’s usually not nearly as bad as it seems!).
Accepting and Valuing Others
People appreciate being understood and valued for being who they are, and they appreciate being respected as autonomous individuals possessed of their own good judgement. And when they perceive genuine respect and valuing from another person, they are far more likely to listen openly to what that person has to say, whether it be negative or positive. When they perceive ambivalence, disinterest or even disdain, their own psychological defences are more prone to activation, and the whole exchange can easily become an uphill battle for both parties.
Most importantly, accepting and valuing others is not something you can fake. It has to be genuine and free of ulterior motives (such as respecting someone just to get them to listen to you).
A good mentor or coach helps develop this character trait by:
- Respecting and valuing you,
- Exploring with you the impact which the reactions of others have on you, and
- Exploring with you any barriers which you feel impede your respect for other people or willingness to allow them their own autonomy.
Accepting and Valuing External Circumstances
Finally, better managers and leaders work with what is, as distinct from what ‘should be’. That doesn’t mean they don’t aspire to something better, it just means they focus attention on the facts here and now, and on how best to work with those facts. They are free from any sense that the world somehow owes them fairness or success or good luck, and in that freedom they find increased effectiveness in working with what it does have to offer, however good or bad that might be. They don’t just tolerate the world as it is, they appreciate its value.
A good coach or mentor helps develop this character trait by:
- Accepting and valuing you,
- Exploring with you the thoughts and other reactions which particular external events have on you, and
- Exploring with you your own freedom to react to events in whatever way you choose.
This article was originally published by Dr Greg Mulhauser on .on and was last reviewed or updated by