A few years ago I came across a simple but profound concept. Successful people have a combination of Warmth and Strength.
Some people are high in the area of relationship building, while others are intensely driven and task-oriented. I believe a person can be both. On a scale of 1-10, desire to be a 10 in Warmth and a 10 in Strength.
I like the imagery of the iron hand in a velvet glove because I think we should lead with Warmth. As others get to know us, our inner Strength will be revealed.
Here are some thoughts on how to exhibit both Warmth and Strength.
* Be welcoming and cheerful to others. Make others feel comfortable, put them at ease.
* Express appreciation and encouragement. Send thank you notes. Brag about others. Let others know you believe in them.
* Be kind. Treat restaurant servers, housekeepers, cashiers, etc. with uncommon courtesy.
* Remember and use people’s names. People have an unconscious, positive, emotional reaction at the sound of their name.
* Be empathetic. Call a friend to check on their job search. Ask about their mother who just moved into a nursing home.
* Be others-oriented. Take an interest in others. Don’t always bring the conversation back to you. Be a good listener.
* Invest in others. Willingly share your knowledge and expertise with others.
* Practice self-discipline. Learn to do what you should do, whether you feel like it or not. Finish the project even though you are tired. Hit the gym when you want to relax.
* Step into difficult conversations. Address issues with the person involved rather than complaining about them to everyone else.
* Have the courage of your convictions. Give your opinion in a meeting, even if it is unpopular or everyone else seems to be going in a different direction. When a group is speaking poorly of someone, let them know what you see that is good in the person.
* Develop a set of personal core values. Some suggestions include integrity, courage, discipline, and focus.
* Refuse to be intimidated. Be respectful of everyone but know that, no matter how much money or how high a position another person has, they are no better than you.
* Be resilient. Bounce back from setbacks. Persevere through obstacles. If you are criticized, evaluate the feedback but don't let it affect your self-worth.
As you go through your day, practice situational awareness. There will be times you will need to project warmth. There will be times when you will need to step up with your strength. It's what successful people do.