Pause – can you smell ego?

Every time we open our mouth, send an email or text we either ADD or DESTROY value. There’s nothing in between. The hard part is to figure out whether your message is value-adding.

Cutting to the chase, the value-adding message is always for the recipient(s) or broader business benefit, NOT FOR OUR EGO!

The benefit for others comes in many forms: sharing useful information or insights, resolving a problem, seeking or providing guidance, etc. 

The value-destroying message either tickles our ego or aims to impact somebody else’s: seeking recognition, shifting blame, highlighting deficiencies in a person or their work, etc.

We’ve all been recipients of pointless “contributions” just to show that the contributor is present, to demonstrate some knowledge on the topic or to subtly point a finger.

When there is a trace of ego, I stop and think if the message can be improved or should be discarded. But it is hard to stay ever-self-aware.

To build a habit, this month I’m putting a stickie on my laptop to remind me to PAUSE before hitting send or jumping into the discussion – “Does it smell like ego”?

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