Do you prefer working with things rather than with people? Some people avoid dealing with people because they can’t control them, conflicts may arise and the emotional baggage may be too much to handle. But in business and in life successfully interacting with people and recognizing their value can produce amazing results. Our ability to work together as a team produces the best results, whether it be in our families, at work, in school, or at church. Team players quickly realize that it’s not all about them and learn to work at being selfless. I recently attended a fundraiser where Tim Tebow, the former Heisman Trophy winner and quarterback at the University of Florida, was the keynote speaker. His positive message of elevating teamwork and character over selfish ambition reinforced, motivated, and inspired me to value people over things. An added bonus was getting to hear Jeremy Foley (retired University of Florida Athletic Director) speak about the essential ingredients to develop a positive and effective team.
Successful teams respect each other and look for ways to build one another up. We value and encourage input and direction from others, and instead of competing and comparing ourselves, we acknowledge each other’s accomplishments. When we deal with conflict decisively but constructively we can foster healthy relationships. Remember that even when people don’t follow our advice they are still observing our behaviors and watching for ways in which we deal with conflict and negative emotions. We can achieve great things without compromising our integrity and values. When we gather our team it’s important to find people who value others as much as themselves and aren’t consumed with arrogance.
The golden rule of treating others the way you want to be treated works every time, as does valuing everyone equally regardless of their wealth, status, race, ethnicity, gender, or popularity. When we look to help others excel in life and find ways to positively impact others it can produce great satisfaction. We encounter people every day through our work, community, personal lives, and shared activities so we always have the opportunity to connect, listen, and build others up. Although we live in an incredibly hectic and competitive culture that rewards busyness and productivity, we can learn to pay attention to the inner rewards of valuing people. Let me encourage you to put your relationships first and value the people that surround you. Our relationships are our legacy. We will be remembered for who we are, not what we do. Choose to be the person who is remembered for your character, integrity, and warmth. Life would be much better for all of us if we embraced this mindset and lived accordingly.