One of the beautiful things I cherish about humans is the fact that, we are all so uniquely different; but perfectly fit in to complete the puzzle called LIFE. We complement and bring out the best from one another, and that is indeed a beautiful thing.
If you have been following my recent articles, you would realize that one thing I try to emphasize is that no one was ever born empty. I mean absolutely NO ONE! We were all born with remarkably distinct potentials, in varying degrees, for the purpose of making this world a better place.
Therefore, I sometimes find it appalling when some people go out of their way to make others feel inferior, i.e. less than some sort of standards. When I come across such people, I just marvel at their ignorance, and wish they knew how much they were missing, by not giving others the chance to express their viable potentials. I would buttress this with an example.
I used to work for a boss that felt he knew it all, while we his subordinates had nothing viable to offer to improve the productivity at work. He never gave us the opportunity to voice out our opinions at team meetings, which were more of dictatorial sessions. His attitude towards us was one of, “I know it all, while you all know nothing”. And in return, we all kept mum about things we knew we had the solutions to, and watched as he woefully failed in the organization, and was eventually kicked out by management.That experience taught me a lot, because I realized that in order for a team to succeed, everyone must be given the opportunity to voice out their opinions, irrespective of how stupid that opinion might seem. The fact that you are the CEO, and that other guy is the janitor doesn’t mean he has nothing good to offer other than to clean and take care of your organizations’ building. Create a welcoming environment for everyone to share their experiences, voice their concerns and provide feed backs. You will be amazed at how much you will learn, from interacting closely with those with whom you share a common goal.
And to you, whose ideas or opinions are being devalued, don’t stress it too much. If you are patient enough, those ideas would make bigger room for you, where you will be celebrated. However, you must be on your guard, not to allow other people’s opinions of you truly define who you are, or what you stand for. If you find yourself in a situation where your ideas or opinions are being discarded and treated as unviable, please know this:
- You are unique, and so are your ideas. Celebrate yourself and know your worth (and this has nothing to do with money). If this person says your opinions are worth nothing today, just exercise a little patience, because those ideas would soon make some other person, process or situation better.
- When someone tries to deprecate you for what you stand for, do not let his/her ignorant attitude get under your skin. Truly confident people do not bring others down; they lift other people up. So, if you find yourself in a situation where someone manifests this, please know that they are suffering from a low self-esteem. So never dull your shine, and walk tall with your shoulders squared.
- You have to be on the lookout for the next opportunity. Opportunities are around us, and present themselves all the time. You need to position yourself where you and your ideas will be celebrated, not depreciated. And do not stress out over this, because with the right attitude (which includes consistency and focus on where you are headed) and mind-set, your ideas would soon become a show stopper in this 21st Century.
So, what has this taught me? No matter how silly or stupid an opinion or idea may sound, it has the potential to become a problem solver someday, even if not for the problem at hand. Everybody deserves to be heard, and I consciously create that environment around me for people to just be people. I hope you will do the same!
To your continued success. Cheers!!!