Do you live by the Golden Rule?
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
That’s great. It’s a nice starting point. It’s a good concept for how we should treat other people.
Here’s the problem: We forget to apply it to the person in the mirror.
How do you talk to yourself? If you spoke to other people the way you speak to yourself, would have have any friends?
I am a member of Toastmasters. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It is best known as a place to learn to speak in public. It is much more than that, but that’s enough for now.
At a typical Toastmasters meeting, a number of people will stand and give a prepared speech. For each of these speakers, another person takes notes and provides an evaluation with the goal of providing the speaker helpful ideas on how to improve.
Being an evaluator is just as important as being a speaker. One of the concepts we are taught is the sandwich technique. When giving an evaluation, start with something positive (something the speaker did right and should continue doing), then something that could be improved, then end with another positive.
This same sandwich technique is often used in annual evaluations at work. Managers are typically taught to start and end with positive reinforcement, while delivering the areas where improvement is needed in between these positives.
While the sandwich technique is a good model, a more important aspect when providing feedback is to focus on the action or behavior rather than the person. Telling someone, “That thing you did was really stupid,” is far better than saying, “You are stupid.”
And yet, how do we tend to talk to ourselves? Rarely do we use the sandwich technique on ourselves. Worse, we tend to go straight to attacking the person (our self) instead of the action. “I am so stupid!”
That brings me to the Nedlog RuleTM. If you haven’t figured it out yet, “nedlog” is “golden” spelled backward. If you looked at the word “golden” in the mirror you’d see “nedlog”.
The Nedlog RuleTM:
“Do unto yourself as you would do unto others.”
Show yourself some love. Treat yourself with the same respect that you show to others.