The phrase “Objects in Mirror Are Larger Than They Appear” is on the outside passenger side mirrors of many newer model cars and trucks and that phrase aptly equates to the challenge to be and remain positive and supportive.

As one of the core, and I think most important, code of ethics in BNI, displaying a positive and supportive attitude means a member has to step outside of his/herself and step into another’s shoes. It means to not judge or condemn another member or for that matter, another person. From experience and many years of helping people become more successful I know that can be a difficult task. For some it’s dang near impossible. But (and that is a huge but) It Can Be Done. Here are some strategies for you to employ so you can remove barriers and make being positive and supportive a reality all the time.

Let’s start the quest together. First and foremost you have to be intentional about having a positive and supportive attitude. Being aware and having a desire to grow begins the journey. We all, even the best of us, can get better. As the late Zig Ziglar said, “you gottta wanna!”

Consciously think, focus and work on being intentional with your word. Don Migel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, shares these concepts:

  1. Be Intentional With Your Word—Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  2. Don’t Take Things Personally—Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions—Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
  4. Always Do Your Best—Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

Step away from judging and condemning. When we blame or talk about how another member does or doesn’t do something or does or doesn’t do it well, we are in fact judging and condemning. Try asking yourself a very resourceful question, “What could the positive intent be behind that (no matter how egregious) behavior?” There is always a positive intent behind a person’s behavior. By simply asking that question, it removes your brain from judging and condemning and moves it to a place curiosity. By being curious, you have many more and better options.

Next hold the belief that “if you’re not part of the problem, there can be no solution.” In every situation we are indeed part of the problem. Go to the person with who you may not agree, or that you have judged, or condemned and have a real conversation. Ask real, open ended questions and chose to be part of their growth. “Change is inevitable, Growth is Optional.” John Maxwell. Become the change you seek in the world.

Positive and Supportive can be achieved but it won’t occur by happenstance. You have to be intentional, aware and in charge of your emotions, your judging, and your condemning. Step into a leadership role, not necessarily in your chapter but a leadership role within yourself.

Jack Klemeyer is a member of Achievers Network in Brownsburg, a part of the BNI Central-Indiana Regional Team and a Certified John Maxwell Coach, Speaker and Trainer helping business owners and leaders who are so busy helping others they don’t always take the time to work on their business. Jack always appreciates referrals!