What People Primarily Respond To

How we see others determines the strength and authenticity of our relationships.

By Senthiyl S S G, Director (Consulting), Arbinger Singapore/Malaysia | March 23, 2020

There is a principle that is largely ignored. It is this: “People primarily respond to our mindset, not our behaviors”

No matter how correct our behaviors might be, people are able to figure out our mindset (whether we are seeing them as people or as objects whose purpose is to serve our needs).

    • A sorry when not meant is called out.
    • A thank you is never appreciated when not done sincerely
    • Negative feedback given gets misconstrued more easily without the right mindset
    • I forgot to wash my hands (in the covid-19 phase)

Our mindset, however polished our behaviors might be in a given moment, in micro expressions, comes out and get called out most of the time;

The inability of people to achieve true engagement or strengthen genuine, caring relationships is symptomatic of how we are seeing others (our mindset).

If this principle underpins everything we do and the response we get, why then are we not trusting, leading and living based on this principle?

Believing and growing in our conviction for this principle (that people primarily respond to our mindset, not our behaviors) opens up possibilities in ways unimaginable.

Why you might ask. To believe and have a deep conviction for this principle means we are largely free of self-concern, fear and anxiety about how others view and/or respond to us. It unshackles us. We see possibilities and solutions we never were able to leverage on. Creativity is given a boost, engagement reaches a new high and collaboration thrives!

Free from fear and self-concern about how others might view us or respond to us, we are able to respond as we feel right in any given moment.

In trying and disruptive times, this principle has the potential to help us navigate our challenges and uncertainties better.

How deeply do you believe in this principle?

Rate yourself:

Which statement more aptly describes you most of the time?

    1. I am concerned about what others think of me and get easily affected by the response of others.
    2. I respond as I feel right even if I anticipate a negative response from others and am able to view others with compassion and understanding.

For those interested to know more, check out Arbinger’s books: Leadership and Self-DeceptionThe Outward Mindset and The Anatomy of Peace.

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