This thing with people
- Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - February 12, 2017 - 10:01pm

People make snap judgments and sometimes they come to me as funny.

I have had a participant in my seminar ask me a question: “Are you a psychologist?”

I said, “Oh no… I might destroy the profession…”

I intended it to be funny but the person I was conversing with was dead serious. It’s either that or he does not have a sense of humor. I am inclined to believe the former.

He says, “how come you know so much of human behavior?” Now I know where he is coming from.

I have had so many years of the following activities:

1. Observing people.

2. Facing obstacles.

3. Reading books.

4. Attending seminars.

5. Asking questions.

6. Asking more questions.

7. Watching so many TV series and most importantly…

8. Asking God for wisdom and discernment to see and understand!

I do speaking, training and I give a lot of seminars to the tune of more than 300 plus every year. I have not slowed down and in fact things are even picking up more each year.

And in all of my talks I touch on principles on essential human resource management. This forms the gist of my training whether it be “Personal Excellence” or on “Leadership.”

I am not a psychologist, just a businessperson with many years of actual business leadership experience.

And what is a seminar anyway? A seminar is merely a collection of a person’s years of accumulated experiences, knowledge, embellished by the books he reads, the lessons he learned condensed into a few days and presented to those who are interested with the hope that they pick up on the success principles and avoid the mistakes they do not have to go through in order to progress in life and business.

From these many years of experience accumulation, there are many recurring themes, behaviors and attitudes concerning people. Here are some of them:

1. People are motivated to move in accordance to their own self-interests! This is not a bad thing. It depends on the kind of interests they have. Even people who are in non-profit organizations who are changing the world are indeed acting on their self-interest. You and I are just hard-wired that way.

2. Connected to this is the fact that every person is motivated by two things:

a. the pursuit of pleasure and

b. the avoidance of pain.

And there are only two reasons that 90 percent of the time anyone does anything:

a. either to gain a benefit or

b. to avoid a loss.

3. Many people dream of success but are not willing to act and take risks in order to achieve their dreams. They sit around, lie around, playing digital games, procrastinating, providing excuses and still hoping that one day they will get lucky.

4. There are those that are skillful who are boastful and proud. They are not liked very much. And then there are those who are proud and boastful and they do are not even skillful and competent. They are hated very much and pretty soon they grow irrelevant and obscure.

5. They live only for the moment. They work hard, save enough money and then splurge it on vacations or stuff one time big time and then work hard again for the next round never bothering to care about the uncertainties of tomorrow.

6. They want it and they want it now. Slow is bad and waiting is worst. They fail to understand that in many instances, long-term replicable success involves timing and waiting because success is not an event but a process.

7. Some are willing to learn and they progress in life. Others are resistant to change and then they become stagnant. They would rather be comfortable and waste away rather than stretch themselves and tap into their unused talent and potential to achieve more success.

Oh yes, I am not a psychologist and I am not an expert in human behavior but I have been training people in the workplace and whether they occupy leadership positions or direct reports, team leads or head honchos these thing about them just keeps on recurring.

Guess what? All these things I mentioned I have went through them not because I have read about them but because I experienced them.

You will know the difference between a trainer who is a theorist and one who is a practitioner. The theorist will always give examples of other people but the practitioner has lots of personal stories to tell. Believe me, I have so much of things to tell that belong to the personal category.

Live do not just exist. Learn but apply the learning. Laugh, not at others but at the self. Love. Life is a gift from God and we can always become better.

This thing about people is actually this thing about you and me. And we can always do better because we become better.

(Bring your leaders to the Shangri-La Hotel Makati and experience two inspiring days of leadership training with Francis Kong in his highly acclaimed and updated Level Up Leadership this March 15-16. For registration or inquiries contact April at +63928 559 1798)

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