Change yourself, not others!

- By Dr. Di

I was reminded recently of a rule of thumb that I have explained to my psych and business students over the years:  You can’t really change other people, but you can change yourself.  Let me explain.  Let’s say that you’re a member of a study group in your psychology class, either working on a special group project or preparing for an upcoming exam.  One person in the group just isn’t carrying his weight—he never prepares and spends more time on his phone than working at meetings.

You could try to shame him into participating by saying, “Hey, dude, where’s the stuff you said you’d do?”  Or you could all ignore him, and he might just quit coming.  But, if it’s a class group assignment, you may be stuck.  So, if you can’t change him, what can you do?  You can change yourself, like decide that you’re going to work hard for your team, forget about the dude, and do well!

Or you could decide to have fun with the situation by putting things in a different perspective:  Secretly keep a record of how many times he uses his phone, and then give a prize to whomever comes closest to guessing the number at the end of the meeting.  Sometimes changing your perspective is the only way to stay grudge-free while having fun.

Are you a valuable team member?  Watch this short video related to the importance of Teamwork.