Using The Human Point of View is not easy
Stopping to think about the way our decisions and actions will affect others can be uncomfortable. Moreover, we may find that what we want to do most, is not the best solution for all of the stakeholders. Doing the right thing rarely equates to doing the easy thing. When it does? Awesome. But, let’s be real.
Nothing worth doing should be done the wrong way
Everything we do, we are doing for a reason. Sometimes that reason may seem trivial, but the fact that our actions and decisions will affect the people around us, or even people we may never meet, every decision, and every action, should be taken seriously. Every step of the way, we have an opportunity to be a positive influence on the world around us. Every action we take needs to be geared towards having a positive effect on our lives and the lives of the people around us. Taking this multi-faceted approach to decisionmaking has advantages. While not immediate, the reward is real.
So what is the “reward”?
This is where things get a little more abstract. While I can guarantee you that the reward is tangible, very real and incredibly beneficial to you, I cannot guarantee its immediacy, or that you will immediately recognize that you’re experiencing it. Okay, so I think I just lost about half of my readers; and that’s fine. This isn’t for everyone.
The reward makes its way into our lives slowly, but if we continue on the path, it will grow exponentially. The more it grows, the more we will notice the effects of our labor. So what is it? Simple. Gratitude. As we ensure that our decisions and actions harm as few people as we can, the people around us have an opportunity. Some will take it. Most will not. But the more we act with others in mind, the more it will be noticed. The more people around us tend to recognize that we are acting with their interests, goals, and values in mind, the more they will be thankful for our mindfulness.
Wait… That’s it? Gratitude? How does that equate to a reward?
Simple. People who are grateful for our ensuring that they are thought of in the decision-making process, are more inclined to respect us. Respect and gratitude will lead to a willingness to help us achieve our goals. This is a very real and beneficial result of our hard work. As others start to see that our process is mindful, they themselves will be more mindful. The difference? They will tend to focus the mindfulness in the direction of who they respect and are thankful for.
The reward spreads out and helps others too
As people witness your use of The Human Point of View in your decision-making and action choices, there will be some that are inspired to do the same. Let’s look at the “pay it forward” example. I went through the Starbucks drive-through a few weeks ago and asked the cashier to let me pay for the person behind me in line. So what, right? Good for them! They got a free coffee. Well, it didn’t end there. I heard from a neighbor, later that night, how that very morning about 2 hours after I paid for the car behind me, the person ahead of them had bought her coffee for her. She excitedly told me how she did the same and how great it made her day!
The lesson? My simple act of paying for someone else’s coffee at a busy Starbucks led to a chain reaction of similar acts. While I don’t know exactly how many people were touched by it, I would imagine that a pretty good number did. The reward there was that I positively impacted a great number of people’s day without really having to think too hard about it. It only cost me about five bucks, and a good number of people had a great day. I don’t care that no one knows it was me who started the chain. It’s the knowledge that it continued and the joy in my neighbors face that rewarded me.
That’s a small example. Here’s a bigger one. A colleague of mine was working on a big, company-wide project, and had been putting in a ton of extra hours to get it done. About halfway through he was stuck on reporting for a critical milestone. This colleague is far smarter than I, but had burned the candle at both ends so long, he was missing a small piece of the puzzle. He was clearly frustrated, so I offered to help. I asked him about the project, what he was looking to achieve with the report, and where the data was stored. I sent him home. I stuck around and took a look at his reporting, and found that he had gone about eliminating records in a way that was skewing his results. The data just wasn’t matching. I copied the report and went about changing what I could. I completed the report that night and spent about an hour vetting the results. The data was sound, so I sent him his report, my altered report and a quick note about what I changed and how I vetted the data, along with an offer to go through the data again with him the next morning.
I didn’t really spend all that much time on it. All in all? about 2 hours. But the new report allowed him to move forward on the project and complete it ahead of schedule. The very next time I was involved in a larger project, he was the first to offer help. And he spent more time than I did helping him.
THAT is a reward.