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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:

  • 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.
Here are six things to be aware of:
  1. Make yourself invaluable to people by focusing on solutions.
  2. Stay clear of drama & rise above fray.                                                          You can by checking your emotions & focusing on results.
  3. Do not complain ~ be positive. Complaining is not an Olympic sport.
  4. Stay aware of your emotions.  Do not let others limit your success.
  5. Use your support system.  Talk to others about the solution.
  6. Be a leader not a leaver.  
Don’t let “J.’s” craziness drive you to a direction you do not want to go.  [1]

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.   [2]
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.
[1] Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author.  He is also the Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of BNI (, the world’s largest business networking organization. 
[2] .  In the book, The Triangle of Truth, by Lisa Earle McLeod 

Kenn Butler
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