Work On Me First


The only person you can directly control is yourself. In Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler write about how the most effective way to improve your effectiveness with others, is to first work on yourself.

Key Take Aways
Here’s my key take aways:

  • Change yourself first. I agree with the concept of change yourself first. You can spend a lot of energy trying to change others, or you can change yourself (whether your thoughts, feeling, actions, approaches … etc.) , which can often be more effective and efficient.
  • It takes two to tango, but you can take the lead. Take the lead on the changes you’d like to see.

You’re the Best Person to Inspire, Prod, and Shape
Remember that the only person you can directly control is yourself. Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler write:

“Although it’s true that there are times when we are merely bystanders in life’s ever-ending stream of head-on collisions, rarely are we completely innocent. More often than not, we do something to contribute to the problem’s we’re experiencing. People who are the best at dialogue understand this simple fact and turn it into the principle “Work on me first.” They realize that not only are they likely to benefit by improving their own approach, but also that they’re the only person they can work on anyway. As much as others may need to change, or we may want them to change, the only person we can continually inspire, prod, and shape – with any degree of success – is the person in the mirror. There’s a certain irony embedded in this fact. People who believe they need to start with themselves do just that. As they work on themselves, they also become the most skilled at dialogue. So here’s the irony. It’s the most talented, not the least talented, who are continually trying to improve their dialogue skills. As is often the case, the rich get richer.”