Reading the fantasy novel Warbreaker, by Brandon Sanderson, recently, I stumbled across this quote: “Every man is a hero in his own story.” That sentence struck two chords. First, it reminded me of a speaker at the Michigan Society of Association Executives’ Orgpro conference a few years ago. His motivational keynote address demonstrated that “Everyone is always right.” Second, storytelling guru Harvey Ovshinsky of HKO Media says, “Nobody cares about your story unless it feels like theirs.”
Human nature gives us a powerful instinct for self-protection and self-interest. This isn’t bad. It just is.
Once you accept it, you can become a better leader, writer, seller, teacher, parent, spouse. You’ll recognize that the only way you can “change” another person is to introduce her to an alternate, equally valid truth. To do that, you have to first fully understand and accept her current truth, and figure out why she would want to exchange her perfect acceptable current reality for something else.
The same Orgpro speaker also said, “Nobody likes me. They like themselves when they’re with me.” Think of that the next time you’re at a networking event. Listen intently to others and praise their accomplishments.; Make them happy about themselves. They’ll go homes thinking that they met SUCH a nice person today. 5/27/10