The TRIPLE A’s: Awareness, Authenticity And Appreciation
Success is a by-product for the individual who has distilled the Triple A’s into his/her behavior and outlook on the world. Awareness, Authenticity and Appreciation are mere words, but incorporating them into our lives can have a profound impact on the way we conduct ourselves and the way we approach our life and business challenges.
To be AWARE
Awareness, or the lack of awareness, impedes our ability to fully address the issues and challenges facing us. We often believe that we have individually surfaced all the issues involved in making a decision. Those who believe in their own prowess of being “aware” are often blind-sided by another perspective or viewpoint that should have been considered. The result might have been a different decision or direction that proved to be a better choice. Creative thinking or “thinking outside of the box” can help surface other issues. Incorporating others into the decision-making process can temper one’s own egocentric perspective on the issue.
In another example, we often know of people who seem to have the answer for everything. They often overestimate their level of competence in areas that others recognize as distinct areas of weakness. It is because those individuals lack a true awareness of what is required to be competent that they can profess to be competent. Conversely, those who are competent are always the ones who can profess to be incompetent since they are truly aware of how much they do not know. Are we the ones who are incompetent? Look around and ask yourself that hard question.
Ultimately, it is the recognition that being “aware” can afford us the ability to successfully address the business challenges facing us. It is important to catch ourselves particularly when feeling overly confident, or in a highly stressful situation to reflect on whether we have truly uncovered and answered all the questions. Are we truly aware? What else have we missed? Incorporating a strategy to answer these questions can uncover and realize an approach to greater awareness. The result: better decision making and greater success in achieving/ resolving the business challenges facing each of us.
To be AUTHENTIC
Authenticity is both external and internal in its impact. Implied in being authentic is truthfulness and honesty: to oneself and to those with whom we are dealing with. From an internal perspective, being authentic comes from knowing yourself. Being aware (as noted above) of one’s natural talents; and also of the core values that are the motivators and basis for intentions. This knowledge of oneself manifests itself in confidence in making the choices set before each of us.
Being authentic with others is about truthfulness of not only saying what one is going to do but also of carrying through and delivering on the promise. Successful relationships with fellow co-workers, work teams, vendor and client relationships are all driven by being authentic and truthful. However, being authentic in these relationships is not absolute. There are times when following one’s own core values directly conflicts with the core values of the other party. Does that mean one is being inauthentic if one shifts position on a decision? How does one reach resolution and still be authentic?
Nothing in business, or in life, is black and white. Being authentic is a process. Core values are guideposts that must be evaluated in light of the unique circumstances and situations that we find ourselves. Reaching to our value system is just one aspect of decision-making. Being effective however, requires that one is committed to the overall objectives of a given situation or business challenge. It is in defining those objectives where being authentic will play itself out; and where being authentic leads to success.
To be APPRECIATIVE
Appreciation is the third of the triple A’s. As I wrote in this newsletter, an experience at any given point in time is the result of a myriad of circumstances and relationships that sequentially occurred to allow that unique experience to happen. It is in that moment that we need to remember, reflect and express thanks to everyone and everything that allowed that moment to happen. This sense of gratitude can unlock enormous new ways of seeing the world around us; in how we interact with those around us; in how we view things: half-empty, or half-full; in how we frame our view of the future. I would like to again share Melody Beattie’s passage on Gratitude:
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos into order, and
confusion into clarity.
It turns problems into gifts, failures into success,
the unexpected into perfect timing,
and mistakes into important events.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Express one’s appreciation; out loud and directly to whom we are indebted. That acknowledgement is invaluable. Experience the moment, and allow that sense of gratitude to make each of us a more effective individual.
The Triple “A’s” hold enormous power to impact how we approach the many challenges we face in our businesses and in life in general. Take a moment to reflect and see how they can be incorporated into each of our lives. I venture to guess that it will offer a path-bending experience that can lead to increased effectiveness and greater success in each of our lives.