Good afternoon dear reader & welcome to my world again this week. I have been away in Blenheim this weekend & thinking, remembering my primary school & the report to parents where your teacher graded you for example on your ~ ability to play well with others? Interesting observation really, as things have not changed. I believe our success in business & particularly success with relationships, means you need to learn how to collaborate (in other words, play well with others).
I also recall when at thirteen years old, my mother gave me a lesson, “Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.” She went on to say, “Kenneth, I love you but you are a bull in a china shop ~ you just run people over. You open your mouth & let your stomach rattle & speak without thinking about what you are saying. You have to learn how to work with people.” Most importantly I have subsequently learnt, life is about collaboration, not manipulation.” This advice from my mother was a major influence on me ever since.
You cannot always choose who comes to the playground & you will not always get a say in who you are working with. You do not have be friends with everybody, or a people pleaser. You do not even have to like everybody. It is also important to recognize different personalities add different perspectives & when managed well, can actually make a group more productive. ThankQ Myers Briggs for this little gem of knowledge.
So, I have learnt not to let other people control your actions. This begins with some tolerance. Tolerance has to come into collaboration. Tolerance is a highly used word & an underused practice, especially in my world. I want to share a story from Ivan Misner on how to use it as a practice.
He talks about Mr. or Ms. Jerk, & calling them “J.” for short. Not the name Jay ~ just the letter (so as not to confuse them with the amazing people out there whose name is Jay).
Remember, keep your eye on the ball & try not to be too sensitive about the jerk – I mean J. Here are some techniques to help you with this process.
When you’re talking with J. consider these 5 things:
Here are six things to be aware of:
- Listen without arguing.
- Ask questions. Not argumentative to give you more insight into J.’s point of view.
- Show interest in their point of view. You do not have to agree to show interest.
- If you can, get them to focus on the solutions to the issue & not just the problem!
- Clear, open, honest & direct communication is the best way to deal with J.
Don’t let “J.’s” craziness drive you to a direction you do not want to go. 
- Make yourself invaluable to people by focusing on solutions.
- Stay clear of drama & rise above fray. You can by checking your emotions & focusing on results.
- Do not complain ~ be positive. Complaining is not an Olympic sport.
- Stay aware of your emotions. Do not let others limit your success.
- Use your support system. Talk to others about the solution.
- Be a leader not a leaver.
Here is my last point:
Dysfunctional people are really challenging. Lisa Earle McLeod says: “I discovered what actually puts us over the edge towards craziness ourselves is not the dysfunction of other people; it is their denial of their dysfunctions. You know, how they go out acting all normal, & even self-righteous, as if we are the ones who are loopy.” Do not give power to others to control your success. Leaving an opportunity (or a network) because someone is a jerk gives them power over you AND it gives them free reign to do it to others. 
Do not give J. this power & do not let others control your success. Takes some learning this tolerance!
I hope my comments are helpful this week dear readers, & again, provide just an opinion, from my world. Thank you for taking the time to be with me, I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson. With my best wishes for another week… I look forward to being with you all again soon.
 Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author. He is also the Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of BNI (www.bni.com), the world’s largest business networking organization.