My wife and I recently had some bookshelves built in our home, which gave us some much-needed space to display many of the books we owned. So when the job was completed, we had a wonderful night of populating our new shelves. We had a little wine, and we spent hours opening up boxes of books. The new shelves gave us the gift of a few hours of reading, talking, and laughing as we looked through boxes that had not been opened in years… some had been in storage since we moved out of our first apartment seventeen years ago.
One of the books we uncovered was a wonderful little paperback called “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum. You may have heard of it — it was a big hit when first published in 1986. It is one of those simple little books, with powerful life lessons taught through simple stories… my favorite kind of book. In the first chapter, he lays out the thesis of the book:
Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sand pile of Kindergarten:
- Share everything.
- Play fair.
- Don’t hit people.
- Put things back where you found them.
- Clean up your own mess.
- Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
- Say you are sorry when you hurt someone.
- Wash your hands before you eat.
- Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
The list goes on to include a few other lessons, but I am sure you get the idea. Think about what a different world it would be if all of us simply followed these rules. What a world that would be.
This is a business blog, so as always, I will pivot to something “business centric.” But the pivot today is not complicated. Think about your role in the workplace. Think about the way you present yourself every day, the way you show up to meetings, the way you treat people. Think about the way you listen… or not. Are you easy to work with? Or not? Are you enjoyable to work with? Or not?
My colleagues and I train people every day how to be better communicators. And in every workshop I teach, I always share the following advice. I can teach you every single thing I know about good communication… every framework, every technique. I can share every experience. But if the people you work with, lead, sell to, and partner with don’t find you credible, believable, and authentic, your communication techniques won’t get you where you are trying to go. Credibility is everything.
I say those exact words in every single workshop. Credibility makes successful relationships and communication possible. With credibility you will thrive. Without it, you will struggle mightily.
And the way we treat people all day every day has a big impact on the credibility we have.
Good luck, have a great day, and remember to treat people well.