Understanding and Adjusting to Those We Encounter

Lyle Lovett is a country performer. I would call him a singer but it’s the poetry of his songs that sets him apart.

I was reading an account of an interview. He said this:

“I got into a significant scrape with a bull of mine. My leg was broken. Really, it’s a miracle I can walk. That bull was just doing what he does naturally. I learned to keep my guard up and allow him to be himself. That’s my definition of respect.”

I took a course one time where the teacher related aptitudes that more successful leaders exhibited when compared to less successful leaders. One aptitude was being “other worldly.”

In his description, to be “other worldly” meant the leader had the ability to get outside of the way he thought about things and was able to climb into the heads of the people he was trying to influence. By getting into their heads, the leader could shape how he taught, how he motivated and how he communicated with an eye toward being effective with the one receiving the teaching, motivation and communication.

Someone who wasn’t “other worldly” would think about things the way he saw it himself. Therefore he would teach the way he would like to be taught, motivate the way he liked to motivate and communicate the way that he would like to communicate.

Lovett’s reflection shows what happens when you think like a human and are dealing with a bull. You get your leg broke.

What Lovett defines as respect reminds me of the importance of being “other worldly.” Seeking to understand the key constituents we encounter every day and adjusting our approach to make a connection is respect. It’s also effective.