The Politics of Making People Feel Good

Given the contentiousness of the U.S. presidential race, you might wonder if politics has been turned on its head. Where is civility? Where is statesmanship? Why all this ringside excitement as if we’re looking forward to a fight?

In The Secret Handshake I wrote that people who get ahead are usually those who make others feel good about having them around. If you’re always pulling the rug out from under other people, you make a lot of enemies.

As one astute business executive shared with me, “You always have to ask yourself what good is going to come of this? You might get anger off your chest, and pay for it for the rest of your career.”

Since we are creatures of habit, it’s wise to check in on those habits. Do you make the people around you wish they were somewhere else? Is your solution to offense one of making the other person pay? Is disagreement always insulting to you or is it an opportunity to learn something new?

Why be like people who confuse power with the ability to punish?  Why not become versatile?  Predictable people, no matter how supposedly powerful, limit themselves.  The versatile thinker is not stuck in a rut.  He or she has the capacity to figure out ways to deal with and around people who are smitten with themselves .  That has to be better.

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