Oct 14

Appeal to the Power of Generosity

Do you ever feel powerless, especially at an airport?  Speaking out in the Harvard Business Review blog, leadership consultant Peter Bregman shows that opening one’s heart works; both from the perspective of a customer and as an employee. (Summary of Mr. Bregman’s Blog below)

Have you ever been stuck in a disagreement with someone, then suddenly the tide turns and the conversation makes progress toward a meaningful solution?  Think about that conversation. What was the discussion about?  Did you and a colleague have a difference of opinion about how to initiate a change in your department, or handle a customer request?  Did your daughter or son test the rules?  Did your significant-other ask you to take on a task knowing it’s something you don’t enjoy?  What was the result of the conversation?  If your dialog led to a meaningful, constructive result, then at least one of the parties probably said something to indicate a heartfelt reason for their position on the matter

For instance: the colleague talked about how the change would have a positive impact for many people, or that the customer had paid early the previous quarter; your child expressed that staying later at the gathering was important because a “certain someone” would be there; or your significant-other shared that they felt overwhelmed at work and wanted some relief at home.  Would these heartfelt clarifications make a difference to you?  How do you feel when a dispute ends in a stalemate, or a standoff?  Don’t you feel more content when the discussion ends in agreement, or at least lays the path for movement forward?

If you were the one to have opened your heart and become vulnerable, was the positive outcome worth the risk? Or were your fears confirmed?  More often than not, the qualms that hold us back are just that, our fears, and not our reality.

Mr. Bregman provides a wonderful insight into that moment of transition in his full posting.

Here’s the Summary:  Appeal to the Power of Generosity – Peter Bregman

Feeling powerless makes people frustrated and anxious. And in business, it is easy to feel that someone else always has the power: customers can take their business elsewhere, employees can leave their jobs; colleagues can focus on their own agendas. Instead of trying to wrestle power back, or exerting your own positional power, appeal to generosity. Pushing people makes them resist, but asking respectfully for what you want often encourages kindness. Next time you need something, issue a request instead of an order, or rely on a relationship built on trust rather than hierarchy. You’re more likely to get what you need and to feel better doing so.

About the author

Lisa Hamaker

1 comment

  1. Lisa Hamaker

    Thank you! Please tell me the type of information that you are looking for, or share your stories. Lisa

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