Five Nuggets from 2022
Sunday, January 8, 2023
Hello. Welcome to 2023. The holiday break gave me ample time to reflect on 2022 and distill some insights and lessons learned. Here are the top nuggets I carried from 2022 into 2023.
- Deal with interpersonal problems with two questions — What are you observing? How are you feeling? Once you deal with the second, you will be better equipped to deal with the real problem with positive perspectives. We often mix up both and tend to complicate interpersonal situations further. Practice asking these questions, and it gets better over time.
- Emotions are not facts. In most situations, your emotions depend on the perspective you choose to look at a situation. See if it is possible to change your emotions by changing your perspective. More often than not, you will find a better perspective.
- Observe more and react less. It makes you see more and hear more. There are exceptions, of course, but those should be rare. Doing this can be particularly hard when your situation is not going in the direction you were hoping it would go or you’re uncomfortable with some aspects of that situation. In such cases, I tend to interrupt or shift the discussion differently. The trick, I realized, is to pause more to see more and become comfortable with letting situations evolve a bit, regardless of what you like to see. Let things pan out a bit before reacting.
- Prefer relationships over issues. Work extra hard to build relationships before approaching others to solve your problems. Know them as people and understand what they are trying to do.
- A secret to power in leadership is detachment. Not detachment from the outcome or others, but separation from yourself and your way. When you put what you want aside, you increase your capacity to observe, listen, and influence others much more profoundly. Doing this in real-time can be difficult, but try it out.
This is an ice-breaker article. I’ve taken a break from publishing articles on this website for over six months. I didn’t stop writing these six months, though. I read and wrote extensively during the past six months in classroom situations. That’s right. Last spring, I decided to go back to school. After some research and the help of a close friend, I settled on two — the Stanford LEAD program and the Psychology of Leadership degree at Penn State. Both started in September 2022. In the beginning, I found it challenging to manage these on top of my day job. But as time went on, I got into a productive pace and began to enjoy what I was learning.
I can’t wait to write frequently in 2023. Here we go, 2023.