Making others feel good instead of helping others be good

“In your relationships, are you concerned about making others feel good about themselves or are you concerned with making them feel good about you?”

This question was posed by David Hoyt, in a recent blog post on John Maxwell’s blog.

As a leader I certainly started as the latter and have over time developed myself into the former. In my past I have been a peacemaker. Concerned more with having others like me than perhaps doing the best thing for myself, the organization, or truly the other person. This has long been a challenge for me. I caught myself placating others rather than confronting them; Sugaring the truth instead of saying what I mean; And holding back from sharing what I really felt.

The first question that began to help me with this transition was “Do I want to be nice person or a good person?”

Niceness for me signified the idea of valuing other’s seeing me as someone who didn’t ruffle them or made them feel warm about themselves. Goodness by contrast certainly includes compassion and warmth but is centred on important internal principles like integrity. This shift in values in myself moved me toward doing the ‘right’ thing rather than simply the acceptable thing. Recognizing that often the best outcomes come through conflict. There is greater worth in weathering discomfort now for a greater outcome later.

This most recent question has helped me bring focus back to this journey but through a slightly different lens. What is the best way for me to develop those around me? How can I best help them find their most excellent selves? And if I take my ego off the table, how does that open up the approach I make?