Let’s Talk About Me

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Words are powerful things; they can engage, they can sting, they can excite and they can bore. The impact words have on people is amazing, even every-day words provoke a gut reaction. Try these two definitions for size:

Self-centred ~ chiefly concerned with one’s own interest

Altruistic ~ disregarding one’s own welfare over that of others

How did those two words make you feel?

Which do you prefer?

Be honest with yourself:

  • How would you rather be described, self-centred or altruistic?
  • What type of people do you like to spend your time with?
  • How do you want your children to grow up?

Self-centred or altruistic? I think I can guess the answers. Nobody respects the “big I am”.

So who would you rather do business with?

Next up I have some phrases from company mission statements for you to read, pay attention, there will be a short quiz at the end:

  • (We will)… grow our long-term savings business aggressively and profitably ~ Aviva
  • (We)… lead in the invention, development and manufacture of the industry’s most advanced information technologies ~ IBM
  • (We want)… to be recognised as a great company ~ BP
  • (We want to)… be the most profitable group of shipyards ~ BAE Systems
  • (We)… entertain, excite and inspire customers ~ Sky

The short quiz:

If these companies were people, which one would you like to go to the pub with?

Is it about them, or is it about you?

How would the world be if company mission statements contained words like “entertain”, “serve”, “support” and “courteous”? If they were a little less self-centred and a little more altruistic? What would that do for employee engagement?

Now words and actions are not the same things. But without the words there will be no actions.

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Image by Eleventh Earl of Mar

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