Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How Do You Tend to See Others?

You've likely been scripted, conditioned, and/or experienced into primarily one set of glasses or the other. Whichever glasses you wear tend to magnify the evidence that fits your paradigm and filter out the evidence that doesn't, and they significant affect the degree of prosperity, energy, and joy in your life. Keep in mind that the differentiation is not all or nothing, black or white. You may be wearing a strong prescription or a mild one. You may switch back and forth. You may even be wearing bifocals, so to speak - looking at your professional relationships with distrust and your personal relationships with blind trust or vice versa. Or you may view your family with blind trust and people dating your daughter with distrust. The point is that whatever glasses you're wearing at any of your time are affecting the way you see the world - and as a result the quality of your life and your ability to enjoy relationships with others and work with them to accomplish meaningful goals.

So why don't you take a moment now and examine your glasses? Remember, they are just "glasses." You can choose to wear them, or you can choose to take them off. 

Thinking about how you see people can help you understand more about whether you have a dominant paradigm that's affecting the results you're getting in your life. Consider the two sets of statements in this table that represents the extremes of blind trust and distrust. Do you identify with one more than the other? Do you tend to respond differently in different situations?

How Do You Tend to See Others?

Blind Trust

  1. I trust people so easily and believe whatever they say. As a result, I often get burned.
  2. I never check up on people or what they tell me; I just always assume the best.
  3. I openly and freely share information about anything and everything.
  4. I accept everyone as trustworthy and feel comfortable with the thought of working openly with anyone.
  5. I trust people to do what they say they will do, and see no reason to question otherwise.
  1. I am inherently suspicious of people and question whatever they tell me.
  2. I always feel I have to investigate people's credibility and validate what they say.
  3. I believe information is power. I hold it close to my chest and give it out only sparingly.
  4. People have to earn my trust before I am willing to work with them.
  5. I tightly supervise my direct reports (or my children or others) and thoroughly and frequently check up on their work.

The reality is that there is a high-cost to both blind and distrust. And whether you're looking at the world primarily through the lens of blind trust or distrust, neither approach is sustainable in the long term. Those who live with blind trust eventually get burned; those who live with distrust eventually experience financial, social, and emotional losses.

It's a vice to trust everyone, and equally a vice to trust no one. (SENECA, First-Century B.C. Roman Philosopher)
(From Stephen M.R. Covey's "Smart Trust" if you like more of these you can visit some posts or buy that book.)

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