We certainly realize that one of the biggest benefits of water is keeping our body healthy. In daily life, we need clean water at the right amount of water to maintain our health, not feeling thirsty or too bloated. At the same time, the volume of water we can drink also depends on the container we use. For instance, if we only have 350 ml glass, we cannot pour more than the capacity of the glass. What we can do is pour as much as we can, empty it and refill the glass.
We have the choice not to pour water at all or to pour as much water as we have. Other people also can fill our glasses by pouring water in the right volume. Water can be analogous to the good things we can do every day. Each pour of water to other’s glass is like we are giving kindness to others. And the most important thing is to do kindness without expecting anything in return.
I once participated in a Dale Carnegie training program, Fundamental Leadership Program. In that class I was taught how to apply the principle of good human relations, influence others, and become a leader. One of the principles of Dale Carnegie that supports the analogy of pouring water is “Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.”. From this principle I learned that the more we sympathize with what someone thinks and does, we can increase that person’s trust in us. As if every poured water is a trust and a good relationship. There are countless ways we can respond to an event that occurs that is provided by Dale Carnegie to have a quality relationship.
With the current uncertain situation, because the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, There are some ways we can improve our quality through proper “pouring water” so that we can build trust and in a relationship with others and also when we are confronted with a situation that limits us moves a lot to achieve a goal.
- Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. It is human nature to dislike complain or criticism that is raised by others against our achievements. Vice versa, if we criticize others don’t be surprised if that person will not like us. My senior once point out to me that if we search on the internet or even in the dictionary for the meaning of the word “critics”, the nuance is always negative. Therefore the term “constructive criticism” – is inherently contradictive. We should replace the word criticism with “feedback”, or “constructive feedback”. To “pour the right volume of water” to others, is by responding positively to the achievements of others and provide further inputs. Doing so will not only improve his performance but also can foster closer relationships with us. I believe this also applies to ourselves, by replacing complaints about current uncertainty with gratefulness so we can think of new ideas to improve our work from home and other activities.
- Be a good listener. In deciding on our team, there are times when we might have better ideas than the others. On the other hand, when we make a decision together the result will be better. Therefore we should give opportunities for other members of our team to share their ideas. That way, all team members know about all the options and can decide which proposal is the best. Coupled with an appreciative attitude toward others, being a good listener can build trust with other people. As a leader, the willingness to listen to our team member’s opinions shows that they trust their team members and it encourages them to communicate more openly.
- Begin in a friendly way. In my opinion, this is the first step to improve the quality of our relationships with others. In a friendly way, we will be able to win people to our way of thinking and create a meaningful conversation.
- Decide just how much anxiety a thing may be worth and refuse to give it more. Ideally, our dream should be achieved optimistically. It will be difficult to achieve sales targets, for instance, if we start with a sense of pessimism and haunted by anxiety. Another example, with the current situation, especially in our country, we might feel or think that the handling of COVID-19 is not yet optimal, we shouldn’t let this hinder us from progressing. Let’s focus on doing new things, to help us be more effective though work from home, so we can still achieve our goals or work productively and remain beneficial to others. Excessive worry does not put us in a position ready to face a challenge. We can get a better result with mental preparation and careful planning.
- Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health and hope. Jen. ZA Hans, in his book entitled “Strategi Pengembangan Diri”, stated that one effective way for us to face difficult person or situation, is by way of reframing (changing the point of view) what happens in front of us into things that are worthy of us to live by, make us more peaceful, and dare to act. There are 2 types of reframing that we can do, namely by:
- Context reframing. That is the way we move an event context in a different space/time in a more positive sense. For example, in these Work from Home periods, to sell a product will be more difficult and time-consuming during COVID-19 pandemic, because the customers and prospects are more difficult to reach and tend to delay in making a purchase decision for many reasons. So, a salesperson needs to be more agile and creative in contacting them to show clients that their products and services are still available even in this condition. To do that, they need to reframe his by thinking “I know it is getting more and more difficult to sell and I will not complain because on the positive side I can train myself to be able to work quickly, aggressively, and effectively.”
- Meaning reframing. In this type of reframing we explore more positive meanings without changing an event. For example, it happened when I read so much COVID-19 information on Twitter. I often read opinions and comments that are pessimistic about improving the condition of the corona virus in Indonesia. To make myself calmer, I reduce the intensity and frequency of opening and reading Twitter per day. On the other hand, from the news, I can take the good side that because the situation with COVID-19 has not subsided yet, it is a good time for me to learn more and improve my understanding of it so that I and my family can remain safe. This is how meaning reframing works.
In the book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, written by Dale Carnegie, precisely in the fourth section about 7 ways to grow mental attitude that will bring us peace and happiness, in chapter 17 he writes, “If You Have a Lemon, Make a Lemonade “. In this Dale Carnegie told about a psychologist named Alfred Adler. After spending a lifetime studying the nature and attitudes of people and their hidden strengths, he concluded that one of the astonishing characteristics of human beings is “their power to turn shortages into added value”. That means that in any difficult situation, we can still enhance the situation positively by our actions.
There are many ways we can maintain good relations with others by “giving water in the right volume” to maintain their trust in us, find agreement with others in difficult situations or, if necessary, influence them to think more positively. I am sure, everyone can always think positively and act maturely to turn this stressful situation into something meaningful. In closing, let me remind you of my favorite quote from Dale Carnegie, “When fate hands you a lemon, make a lemonade.”
Abimanyu Hanggara – Marketing Communications