02 Jan.
Mary Rauchenstein
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How’s Your Vision?

As we begin the promise of a New Year, we might benefit from a vision test.  No, I’m not talking about reading an eyechart of sorts. This is a much more challenging test.  Why not make it a point this year to assume positive intentions regardless of one’s behavior.

In the book, Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey states that we judge ourselves according to our intentions, but we judge others by their behavior or actions. Hmm….I think we just found the answer to world peace! Think about it.  What would happen if you spent an entire day assuming positive intentions of others, even if they acted badly? Here a are opportunities that I bet will resonate with you:

  1.       The next time someone cuts you off, don’t launch into road rage.  Maybe they just received devastating news about a loved one and they are upset or on their way to the hospital (granted, they probably shouldn’t be driving).  Show a little compassion and keep your middle finger on the steering wheel.
  2.      When someone speaks to you from a domineering parent state or a childish state, take a deep breath and respond to them from an adult ego state.  Okay, maybe you’ll need an oxygen tank for that really, really deep breath, but responding in a controlled, adult manner  can change the course of a conversation.
  3.      When someone posts something on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn that you don’t agree with, before launching into a vindictive diatribe, consider these approaches instead:  “I read your post.  I’d like to better understand your position.  Have you thought about X, Y or Z?” Or maybe something like, “I appreciate your opinion.  Mine is a bit different, but isn’t that what makes our country so great?  We’re free to engage in debate and dialog.”


If these suggestions sound impossible to you, then consider a coach.  We coaches are skilled at asking questions that can help you reframe your thinking. It’s not that your thinking is wrong, it may be causing you to be rigid and unable to adapt to other situations. Rigid thinking may keep you from truly understanding others’ intentions and fro  Rigid thinking may keep you from truly understanding others intentions and from experiencing true happiness.  Give yourself (and others) the gift of a vision check!  You might fall in love with some new lenses!