Treat People As They Are, Not As You Are




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“Don’t be so busy with goals and plans that you forget that people get things done.”

It’s frustrating to expect people to be like you when they are like… well, them. Understanding and accepting people is leadership’s missed opportunity.

RELATED ARTICLE: Here Are Some Creative Ways To Appreciate Your People

Understand Values

“Values energise behaviours, drive commitments, and produce satisfaction.”

There’s a woman on my team who loves to help people feel like they belong. It’s a thing of beauty to see her expressing her value.

You frustrate and demotivate teammates when you violate their values. You respect and energise teammates when you help them express their values.

Understand Doers

Doers need a clear goal and a reasonable plan. Once a doer sees the path forward, they’re dynamos. But before a doer sees the path forward, they may seem like anchors.

Beware of disillusioned doers. They’ll sabotage others to prove they’re right. They’ll pull back, let others fail, and then say, “See, I told you so.”

Understand Dreamers

Dreamers love ideas, jump quickly, and sometimes flame out. Invite them to explore new ideas.

Beware of dreamers who start too many things and finish too few.

READ: How Successful People Handle Toxic People

Understand Introverts

Quiet introverts enjoy time to reflect. If you want an introvert to move forward, give them time to think.

Understand Extroverts

Aggressive extroverts respond to kind but firm instruction. It’s not anger, but confidence that reaches aggressive extroverts.

Talk it through with extroverts.

Understand four people principles

1. Adapt where you can. Confront where you must.

2. The way you treat people reflects who YOU are. Fearful leaders tend to lean towards self-protective responses. Authentic leaders speak up with courage and kindness.

3. Always seek the best interest of others, especially when confronting or correcting.

4. Practice kind candour, forward-facing curiosity, and courageous transparency with all. Humility is the secret to effective candour, curiosity, and transparency.


Dan Rockwell is passionate about leadership. He has also owned two businesses and served fifteen years as a Workforce Development Consultant for a Penn State University Special Affiliate. Write in, to to get in touch with Dan or share your input on how a person should treat another individual.

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