The rewards of being able to work co-operatively with other people can be considerable – personal satisfaction, financial gain, achievement of goals beyond the capabilities of you by yourself… However there is one very important step you need to take before you will be successful in working with other people.
The key to true success in working with other people, of achieving what Stephen Covey describes as Interdependence in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is to first achieve mastery of yourself. To quote another saying from the world of management “you can’t manage other people until you learn to manage yourself”
There are a number of reasons why you need to first master yourself before you can be truly successful in working with others.
You can’t talk yourself out of problems you behave your way into
If you have not mastered your impulses and desires and made them congruent with your life goals and purpose, you will be a person who “says one thing and does another”.
You may learn how to say the right things – there are plenty of good books, seminars, videos etc. that can help you to learn the “right way to behave” in any given circumstances. However your actions are controlled by the sum total of all your thoughts – both the conscious effort to control your behaviour and the unconscious results of your deeper impulses and desires.
The people you meet and co-operate with on a regular basis may well be impressed by your words to start with, but they will pick up on the contradictions between your words and your actions quite quickly. As a consequence you will find it hard to build relationships of genuine trust and respect.
You have to like yourself before you can like other people
…or they can like you. Another way to look at this is to say that you need to have a good self esteem to be able to deal successfully with other people.
If you have a low self esteem, you may believe that you cannot make good quality decisions and therefore you will find it difficult to contribute in any circumstances where other people are involved. You may also believe that you are not worthy of happiness or fulfillment which will lead you to too easily accept the losing side of any outcome in any situation.
Leading an unfulfilled life will make you more inclined to feel cheated by life and by other people and they will pick up on your feelings through your words and behaviors.
Before you can successfully work with others and become a leader, you first need to mastery yourself. The more you want to be successful in working with other people, the more you need to work on your integrity, your self esteem and your mastery of yourself.
By Michael Williams