Look for the Good!
See Your Colleagues Bigger Than They See Themselves!
A few key people in my life have helped me be better than I ever thought possible. They moved me along in my own learning and development because they saw something in me that I didn’t see. It still brings tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat when I think about these generous people.
One of those people was Danny Becerra, who very early in my working life was my supervisor. In Jungle: A Journey to Peace, Purpose, and Freedom, I described how he encouraged me to earn my degree––mandated by Mr. Walton, the president of the company I worked for at the time. Danny and Mr. Walton saw in me what I couldn’t see in myself. I begrudgingly seized the opportunity, and eventually came to love learning. As I embraced becoming a lifelong learner, Danny became my lifelong cheerleader and friend.
Then, there was a point in my life when I moved from being a mentee to being a mentor. I now have many opportunities to give back tenfold what I received early in my life. I stand for the people on my team and with my clients, offering words of encouragement and even tasks to show them what they are capable of accomplishing.
The goal here is to have the people around us be great––to see them for who they really are, particularly when they use negative language about themselves. Sometimes, people just need a hand up. And it’s easy to do. There’s no cost to it. It just takes a little effort to see the positive traits in people, rather than the weaknesses that we all buy into from time to time.
Jesse Jackson once said, “Don’t look down on anyone unless you are helping them up.”
We can train ourselves to see the greatness in people and their true abilities, regardless of what we are currently seeing in them and the behaviors they sometimes demonstrate. When we see them bigger, it gives them permission to also believe in their own greatness. The builds momentum for even more accomplishments and opportunities to go above and beyond.
Principle #5 of my manifesto for life refers to “See Your Colleagues Bigger than They See Themselves.” Mr. Walton saw me bigger than I could see myself. He pulled and pushed me into something that I didn’t know. At the time, I didn’t want the attention; however, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
- When has someone seen you bigger than you see yourself?
- When have you seen someone bigger than they see themselves?
- What did you do to bring them into this reality?
I’d love to hear about your experiences.
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