today’s blog, take one:
Yesterday, while reading a very insightful blog post, two things were striking:
1) The post had very valuable ideas for all of us who teach and lead.
2) The writer of the blog consistently used his own successes to make his points, and used the words “me”, “myself”, and “I” quite liberally.
Using those words – AND using himself as the best example of the practices he was promoting – was quite distracting from the content. He damaged his credibility with all the self-reference and bragging.
today’s blog, take two:
Yesterday, I read a blog with some pretty valuable content. I liked what I read, but I was quite put off the tone; the writer kept using his own success as examples, and it became very “braggy” after a time. This bugged me, and made me take him less seriously. I hope I don’t write like that, myself.
It was easier to write the second version, above. But is it possible that the first version sits better with the reader? How often have you been distracted by great content because the speaker/writer clearly thinks quite highly of himself/herself?
Taking it further, what about a manager, teacher, or coach who is constantly starting thoughts with “I think…”, “I know…”, or the dreaded “I need you to…”? On a subconscious – or even conscious – level, we begin to notice, and their credibility is damaged in our eyes.
Successful leaders consistently find ways to avoid “me, myself, and I” in their communications; this keeps the focus on others. A nice exception; the use of personal failures to make points. Self-deprecation is a nice way to keep from becoming too intimidating. But that’s almost a whole other topic…
Having said that, I wince a little bit as I re-read an earlier post on this blog about using the words “around here.” Whoops. Ah, well, hopefully, on balance, I don’t come off as too full of myself. 😉
When you keep the focus on others, not yourself, good things happen.
What do you think?