Rethinking Work

Today is Friday, so this post is on interpersonal competence.

Cliff Hakim is the author of two very interesting books: Rethinking Work and We are All Self Employed.  The other day, I read Rethinking Work.  In the Afterword, Mr. Hakim dispenses some advice on hot to live fully now.  I think that this is great advice for anyone interested in becoming a more interpersonally competent person. 

Here are Cliff Hakim’s pearls of wisdom on living fully and my thoughts on how they apply to interpersonal competence 

Press one digit at a time.  Focus your attention at the task, and more importantly, on the person in front of you.  Interpersonally competent people know that relationships are built one person at a time.  You can build strong relationships by being fully engaged with the person with whom you are dealing.  Give him or her your undivided attention.

Share your wealth.  Interpersonally competent people give of themselves with no expectation of return.  They don’t keep score, or engage in quid pro quo behavior.  They build strong relationships with the people in their lives because they are willing to give of themselves.

Honor your connections.  Treat everyone you meet as an important person – because they are.  They are important to themselves, their families, their friends and their employers.  Interpersonally competent people don’t look down on anyone.  They look for the interesting and good in all people.  They honor everyone they meet as fellow human beings.

Update your beliefs.  I offer many of my clients this little bit of wisdom.  “When someone begins speaking and you think, ‘that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,’ pay attention and listen hard.  You’re probably going to learn something.”  Interpersonally competent people are open to new people and new ideas.  They listen and evaluate – then they incorporate the thoughts and ideas that make sense to them.  They don’t dismiss people and ideas out of hand.

Become patient with yourself.  When you are patient with yourself, you are patient with others.  I am in Newark airport as I write this post.  It is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  I stopped at a newsstand to purchase some mints.  The line was long because the computers were down.  Several people were grumbling and impatient.  I stood there calmly and waited my turn.  I even said to the cashier, “It must be tough having the computers go down on a busy day like this.”  From the smile on her face, I could tell that those small kind words helped her get through what was shaping up to be a difficult day.  It has taken me a long time to realize that patience truly is a virtue.  Now that I am more patient, I am happier with myself and not as demanding of others. 

Embrace the next stage of your life.  As you go through life, you will grow and develop and you will meet new people.  Welcome them into your life.  Work hard at getting to know them.  You will be richer for it.

Use your edge.  Cliff Hakim advises, “Listen to your inner voice.  Clarify what you need and want.  Shine light on your fears and learn how to see past them.”  If you do this, you’ll become more self confident and be in a better position to build strong relationships with the people in your life. 

I suggest that you pick up a copy of Rethinking Work.  Read it and do the exercises.  You’ll be better for it.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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