Have you ever experienced an EPIC FAIL as you are trying to create an important working or personal relationship? It can happen despite your best efforts at self-awareness and empathy. Good “people skills” isn’t enough. Wicked smart, successful people educate themselves on how the drives and preferences of their inner design affect all aspects of life. They also seek to understand others in the same fashion. It’s this kind of learning that leads to far more than just good “people skills.”
Wicked Smart, Successful People Lessons
We identified that choosing to learn something new every day is the hallmark action of any successful person. More specifically, learning that leads to thinking critically and challenging the status quo should be your priority. If you agree, let’s keep going!
We’ve already covered “LESSON 1: The Real Meaning of Introversion and Extroversion.”
Let’s dig deeper into “LESSON 2: Lifestyle Preferences Color EVERY Aspect of Your Life.”
Which lifestyle describes you best?
- Are you hurried and more pressured by time? Do you favor routine? Are you decisive and determined? OR,
- Are you laid back and not quite so pressured by time? Do you like to keep your options open, preferring to wait until you feel it’s really time to decide?
What I’ve described above are two opposite lifestyles that can cause a lot of friction between you and others. It’s a matter of preference. Some want to get things done now. Others can wait for what they consider to be the optimal time. Those who want closure will irritate and be irritated by those who don’t.
It’s Time to Edge-ucate Yourself on How You Use Time
There are many excellent commentaries on how successful people use time wisely. If you are in pursuit of learning how you are designed on the inside, it’s likely you have also found these. Terms like “Tyranny of the Urgent” and “Learn to Say ‘No’” are used extensively. I’m sure you’d agree that there’s no off-the-shelf set of tips for being productive and making the most of your time. It’s highly personal and will change as you change. BUT, what won’t change is your inner design and how you relate to time.
If you answered, “My lifestyle preference is #1” (hurried, more pressured by time):
Then, you are keenly aware of what time it is, almost all the time. If time is always winding down and running out, your sense of urgency is going to be quite high. Naturally, coming to closure is a strong desire for you.
Can you come to closure on an issue without forcing yourself and others to the wrong conclusions?
Can you deliver solutions on time and still leave the health and productivity of your relationships in tact?
The answer to both questions is an emphatic “YES!” But it takes understanding and lots of practice. Your desire for expediency can earn you the reputation for on-time delivery of important objectives. Or it can run “roughshod” over the feelings and agendas of others.
A specific fear can be dominant in a hurried lifestyle. Anxiety is created when things don’t get done. Panic can set in when unfinished tasks back up. Your sense of urgency is fed by the need to achieve. You have a sense of pride in the work accomplished. You experience a treasured sense of relief when progress is made. These drives can easily be overdone, creating tension between you and others who don’t share your urgency. Sound familiar?
If you answered, “My lifestyle preference is #2 (more laid back, prefer to keep options open):
Then, you are likely the one who rarely cares what time it is. You’re too busy experiencing whatever the situation happens to be. You may be deciding how things need to change and formulating a plan for the improvements, or you may be simply taking things as they are, enjoying the moment and all it has to offer. Coming to closure may rob you of keen insights or important details not yet discovered.
Can you keep your options open without exasperating those who want to arrive at a decision?
Can you meet the demands of a deadline without robbing the joy and optimism from the moment?
Again, the answer is “YES!” But without educating yourself on the right use of these drives, it can feel impossible. This more relaxed lifestyle is ruled by stress-reducing emotions. The fear of making a wrong move is more dominant. So, when making a decision, you can be plagued with the uncertainty that you may have made the wrong decision. You have the craving to go with the flow. When a decision is required, the peaceful, happier mode of existence is disturbed. Can you relate?
Critical Thought: Is Time Your Friend or Foe?
Regardless of your lifestyle preference, you have to make an important decision: Will time become your enemy? Or will you use time to create important and meaningful progress? It’s your choice. But you must learn how your inner design drives your relationship to time and, therefore, your relationships with others.
“People skills” are important for successful people, but underneath those skills are drives and preferences that rise up and affect the way you think, feel and act. Master the strengths that these drives and preferences produce and see past failures transform you into a successful “people” person that others want to learn from.
And stay tuned next week for more on wicked smart lessons for successful people and this critical thought: How Much Control is Too Much?
More resources on understanding your inner design and the lessons learned for your lifestyle preference:
1. INNERKINETICS – Your Blueprint to Excellence and Happiness
2. Intelligently Emotional
3. INNERKINETICS OF TYPE
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