No matter how vehemently we deny it, we’ve all got a bunch of insecurities. More so, if you’re a leader or someone with positional authority. And believe me, it’s the best antidote that I’ve know to work all the time. I’m yet to see it fail. Are you ready? It’s this — help other people and put them first.
I’ve seen this work beautifully when I was new to public speaking. Each appearance was a nerve wrecking experience until it wasn’t. And all I changed was my attitude. Instead of paying attention to my appearance, content, speech, verbal tics and highly self-limiting beliefs, I focused on adding value to the audience.
And like magic, the fear and nervousness dissipated. I enjoyed myself more and so did the audience. I had a similar experience years ago when I started to coach people. My insecurities got the better of me. So much so that I had to stop a few sessions (yes, I did this more than once) midway and excuse myself for a 5-10 minutes to centre myself!
But thankfully, I was able to recall my experience with public speaking and how I was able to invert the whole focus towards the audience. Replicating that as a coach wasn’t too hard and made so much more sense. I was indeed adding value to the person I was coaching. And voila! I’d instantly become so much better as a coach! I was laughing, facilitative, reflective, and having fun. All the while listening intently. **
I personally think putting people first have been a game changer in my life. I worry less about trying to look good and instead focus on making the person (or people) in front of me look like the most important people on earth. Because they are! And would you want to add value to them?
It all starts with one simple question: what can I do today to add value to this person/the people listening to me today?