Ways to distinguish yourself #138 – Stop trying to please everyone

You can do this exercise very easily. Bring along ten of your friends and/or your co-workers for a quick ten-minute meeting. Ask them one of the following questions:

* What makes a great leader?
* What makes a great manager?
* What do you look for in a friend?
* What makes a great husband?
* What are the characteristics of a great team?
* What is an ideal vacation?
* What makes a great movie?

Each person gets about three minutes to write his or her response. Collect all the responses and remove the duplicates. The list will be daunting. Whatever was your question – the responses will show one thing clearly – it will be hard to satisfy everyone – all the time.

Agreed. You need to be nice. You want great relationships with everyone. Of course, you also know that it is an ideal condition. When you start becoming realistic and look at dealing with people in general – you will see that there is only one thing in common – “everyone is different.” Trying to please everyone is hard work. Even if you succeed, I don’t know whether the returns from that warrants all the sacrifices you need to make along the way.

Now I want to make my final point. Just remembering that your success does not lie in pleasing everyone will give you some freedom. If you bought into this argument, the tricky part is also to remember that you should not expect everyone around you to please you. The same rules apply both ways, don’t they?