What Do You Expect For Yourself That You Don’t Provide To Others?

Leadership Lesson: Too often, we seek out what we need from others — the best conditions and treatment — without thinking about whether or not we’re providing it to others ourselves, whether in advance or in return.

One of the strongest predictors of great development is what someone takes in from the environment around them. Positive experiences and results can build someone up, pushing them further into their own success and achievements. Negative experiences can hinder someone, infusing toxicity or even an emptiness into one’s experience, creating a void where very little grows and much less is created.

And the positive and negative experiences can result from either the actions or inactions of others. What someone doesn’t do can be just as impactful as what they actually do.

On the flipside, what someone doesn’t get/receive can impact their performance as much as what they do get/receive from those around them and their environments. Lack or absence of resources and attention can be just as damaging as poor resources and negative attention.

Keeping that damage in mind, clients — and all of us in general — need to take a step back and make sure we’re doing what we can to inject into our environment what we want to see come back to us.

So, yes, “be the change you want to see in the world,” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Ghandi provided a sound reminder in the former advice, while the latter helps us put that into perspective when it comes to our own needs.

(And, again, people may say that instead of The Golden Rule [“…as you would have them do unto you.”], we should instead approach others with The Platinum Rule [“…as they would have you do unto them.”]. The Platinum Rule is very important, and, eventually, it should be the absolute goal — treating others the right way for them, in business and in life. But you can’t know from the very start what someone needs without learning about them first. So, in the meantime, we need to err on the side of caution and treat others the way we would expect to be treated at a basic level [Golden] — with common respect, courtesy, dignity, attention, etc. — and then later customize our actions to that person’s needs and preferences [Platinum].)

Related: In Your Environments, Be Sure To Consider Following The Golden Rule To Start

So, when it comes to coaching, some clients may have great expectations of others without really giving any thought to what it is they themselves put out into the environment to meet and match others’ expectations

Unfortunately, people want a certain behavior carried out toward them without demonstrating it in return.

That’s a bit hypocritical, though — no?

In order to avoid that hypocrisy, there are basic areas in which we should consider what we’re applying to our relationships with others, both in the everyday as we go, and in advance of what we receive ourselves.

Start with this basic list:


How do we address others, making them feel seen and included?

Very often, people may complain that they don’t feel they’re being heard. That they’re providing the work they were asked to do but don’t feel as if they have a seat at the table, whether figuratively or literally. The relationship seems more transactional, to get the job done, than transformational, whereby considering what that person has done and utilizing their own skills to help elevate both them and the environment.

Merely existing as a transactional relationship or role yields an empty feeling.

Related: Your Leadership Wake: As A Leader, How Do You Acknowledge Others?


Beyond acknowledging, how do we then demonstrate respect, civility, and politeness to others?

In addition to allowing someone to feel seen, we also need to make sure they feel respected. Hierarchies should not be devoid of common decency. Courtesy is one of many soft skills which is vital to strong relationships, eventually contributing to the overall environment. We need to look each other in the eye and provide an open, fair environment as we go. 

Before we are workers, we are human beings. We don’t leave the latter role at the door when we enter our workspace to perform the former. It is common courtesy in action.

Related: Regardless Of The Title Of Anyone You May Be Dealing With, Respect the Person


How proactive are we in how we assist others in what they may need?

It’s important to step in and help others when possible, and when you’re able. Some may be tempted to say, “That’s not in my job description,” or “I don’t get paid to do that.” Some may turn their heads and/or walk away from a situation where they have knowledge that can lead to a solution but don’t want to sacrifice their precious time or energy. Ignorance like that today can lead to failure all-around tomorrow.

Besides being the right thing to do, helping another in your mission, organization, or company helps you in the end by maintaining your environment at an optimal level.


How do we bring the best out of others, helping them build themselves up?

We shouldn’t only work with those skills others show us. We need to read deeper into their experiences, to understand what they’re capable of, making sure they bring those unmentioned skills to the table. We need to see the best in others they may not see in themselves. We need to sharpen others and make them better as we go.

Challenging each other to and beyond our perceived limit, or best of our ability, should be par for the course. We should all be getting better as we go.

Related: In Working With Others, How Do You Challenge Them To Make Them Better?

Sponsorship (higher level of assisting)

How proactive are we in how we help people actually get to their next level?

Beyond the everyday challenges we use to sharpen others, we should consider what the end goal is people are trying to attain for themselves. Very rarely can anyone go it alone. Somewhere along the way, most people have had someone who saw in them more than what they were doing, being, and showing in that moment. They saw the next possible step and platform for their skills to be utilized.

Elevating other people elevates us and the mission at hand.

Again, these are but a few of the top complaints people have about their interactions (or lack of interactions) with others in their environments. This is a partial wish list. There are more items which should be considered.

What do we wish we could get from other people?

Are we providing that for others in advance?

The more each of us sets an example, regardless of whether or not we’re the official leader, the more a mindset can ripple through and be ingrained in a culture. Our intentions become lessons in action. We set the tone for what is beneficial in an environment and for others.

And your environments will improve while you’re there and continue to grow after you leave.

Related: What Kind Of Environment Does Your Leadership Leave In Its Wake?

How have you changed the environment? How has it changed you?

It is true. You reap what you sow. Be fair in your expectations of and reciprocation with others.

Make sure you’re not expecting of others what you won’t provide yourself. Be clear about that with others. Dictate the narrative of what others see. Know what you want to show them, and act accordingly.

People can see right through you, if you’re a hypocrite. What do you think they see?

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