Caring for others helps us feel more connected, capable and alive. Acting with goodwill for others is how great leaders practice discipline.
Here are some steps to maximize goodwill in encounters with others. They are especially helpful for tense or unpredictable situations.
- Before you engage with another person notice how you are feeling:
- Breathe slowly out and in, saying to yourself: “Release. Relax. Let go.”
- Drop your tongue to the bottom of the jaw. Open the back of your throat as if to yawn.
- Relax your jaw muscles.
- Notice the other person. As you look at them:
- Soften the muscles around your eyes. Notice their skin color (normal or flushed), posture (straight or slumped), and facial expression (relaxed or disturbed).
- Calmly ask, “What would be most helpful to you right now?”
- Listen attentively to the person’s response.
- Consider possible actions and identify any that seem appropriate and helpful.