Listening from Doing the Right Thing and Achieving All Your Goals at the Same Time
Doing the Right Thing is a book about people who work in offices, why we fight, and how we can stop fighting, solve our problems, and get back to work. All materials on this site Copyright © Marianne Powers 2002. All rights reserved.    Home    Back    Next

Doing the Right Thing and Achieving All Your Goals at the Same Time

Full Book Outline:

KNOWING
---People Are What They Are and It's Irrelevant Anyway
---We Don't Know What Other People Are Capable of Achieving
---People Are Not Accountable for Their Thoughts and Feelings
---We Don't Know What Other People are Thinking and Feeling
---People Are Accountable for Their Words and Actions
---Assume Everyone is Doing the Best They Can
---Assume Everyone Has a Good Reason for What They Say and Do

LISTENING
---Listen Very Carefully
---Welcome Information, Criticism is Information
---If You Have a Choice, Don't Choose to be Hurt
---Examine Your Motives
---Targeting Problems is Good, Targeting People is Evil
---If You Want Someone to Do Something for You, You Have to Be Completely on Their Side
---When People Don't Understand, Listen Better

SPEAKING
---State Your Position Clearly and Ask for What You Want Specifically
---Tell Them Even If You Know They Won't Understand
---All You Can Do is Tell Them, You Can't Make Anyone Do Anything
---When People Don't Meet Your Expectations, Change Your Expectations
---Give Them 100 Tries to Get It Right
---If They Can't Get It Right in 100 Tries, There Must Be Something Wrong with the Procedure
---Teach Everyone to Do Everything

Examine Your Motives
There are at least two reasons why I do something: the reason I tell other people and the real reason. I don’t think it is bad to be multiply determined. In fact, the more reasons there are for doing something, the more confident I feel that it is the right thing. Except that (as I finally figured out), the real reason and the public reason both have to be good reasons, and they can’t be in conflict with each other.

In the past, I was barely aware of the real reason I said or did things. The real reason was more like an emotion than a thought. Whenever someone suggested doing something or I thought of something to do, I immediately responded with either “I want to do this” or “I don’t want to do this”. Now I know that whether I want to do something or not probably depends on whether it is going to get me something I like – laughter, fun, companionship, love, recognition, power, and money are some of my favorite things – or something I want to avoid.

There was a time when I was completely alone. I felt that I had none of the things I wanted. It was then that I discovered (and I never really forget) that self-respect is the ultimate necessity for me. With it, I can live with myself in any circumstances. Without it, my own company is unbearable and I feel hopeless. Therefore, I have sometimes also done things because I had to, because honor demanded it, and not because I wanted to do them.

The real reason I do something is almost always because it satisfies one of these wants or needs. It is not always necessary for me to tell people the real reason I am doing something. Sometimes, as they would probably say, that is too much information! Other times, people need to know the real reason, because I am “overreacting” to the public one. Then, if I don’t tell them the real reason, they will make one up for me and, more likely than not, they will think of something pretty unflattering, since they can see I am trying to hide something. Whether I tell other people or not, it is very important for me to be aware of the real reason at all times.

If I am not facing my real reason for doing something, I will look like I am hiding something, because I am. People won’t know or care that I am hiding something from myself. They will know and care that I am hiding something from them.

To do the right thing and achieve your goals, you have to know what is motivating you.



Next Section: Targeting Problems is Good, Targeting People is Evil

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