Words to Learn By by John C. Maxwell

The best leaders are readers of people. They have the intuitive ability to understand others by discerning how they feel and recognizing what they sense.

I have found that leaders overestimate the amount of time and effort needed to get to know someone. In fact, in only one hour with you in private conversation, I could, probably by asking three questions, find the passion of your life:

What do you dream about?A person’s dreams are powerful revealers of passion. When a person starts to talk about their dreams, it’s as if something bubbles up from within. Their eyes brighten, their face glows, and you can feel the excitement in their words.

What do you cry about? 
Passion can be uncovered by peering into the hurts deep inside a human soul. The experience of pain or loss can be a formidably motivating force. When listening to a story of grief, you hear a voice thick with emotion, you see watery eyes flooded with feeling, and in that moment you glimpse the intense connections between a person’s deepest pain and their greatest passion.

What makes you happy?I have fun hearing what makes people tick and seeing the smile that comes when they talk about where they find joy. Enjoyment is an incredible energizer to the human spirit. When a person operates in an area of pleasure, they are apt to be brimming with life and exuding passion.

If you can uncover a person’s dreams, hurts and joys, you’ve discovered the central dimensions of their life. This lesson is designed to show you the types of questions that can draw out the passion inside of a person. Try to limit your answers to one or two words. Also, notice how each question is asked both positively and negatively. I have found that by expressing opposite feelings and emotions, you reveal your true inner self.
To maximize this lesson, I’ll give you four easy assignments:
  1. Ask yourself and answer the questions posed below. In doing so, you’ll enhance your self-awareness.
  2. Share your answers with your team to allow them to learn about you.
  3. Ask your team to answer the questions to encourage their self-discovery.
  4. Ask your team to share their answers with one another. This practice will bring team members closer together.
Here are the questions:

– What is your biggest asset? (Example: positive attitude)

– What is your biggest liability? (Example: unrealistic expectations)

– What do you like most from others? (Example: encouragement)

– What do I like least from others? (Example: excuses—blamers, complainers and explainers)

– What is the best thing to have? (Example: friends)

– What is the worst thing not to have? (Example: hope) 

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