I have an interesting cadre of friends, and I like that because it makes life interesting. For the most part I feel like I’m on the same wavelength with them, but I do have a couple of friends who seem to differ with me on a great many things.

I have one friend where, almost everything I ever say to him, in some fashion he has to disagree. It pretty much doesn’t matter what it is; if I say it then it has to be wrong. What eventually happens, though, is someone else says the same thing to him and suddenly it’s totally correct. Every once in awhile he’ll own up to it; other times, he acts like it was his idea all the time.

This doesn’t tend to be my general MO, if you will. Whereas I won’t agree with anything someone says “just because”, I will often go to great lengths to build people up, possibly offering suggestions I think will help them to get where they want to go.

I do that because I don’t believe anyone is ever helped if all they ever get is rebuff in some fashion. Everyone likes validation, whether they need it or not. We like being told that our dreams, goals, fantasies, whatever, are legitimate. If you’re 5’1″ tall and say you want to play center for your favorite basketball team I’m not going to urge you to keep on that road to ultimate failure. If you said you wanted to learn what it takes to become a professional basketball coach, no matter your age, I’d encourage you to figure out how you can get the information and the experience needed to get there. Even if it seems like a pipe dream to many others there’s nothing saying it’s not a possibility.

If you’re going to be a leader, you need to know when to give positive responses and how to do it to get the maximum benefit out of your employees. You also have to be genuine; telling someone how great they were because they knew the right keys to push to enter information into the computer when that’s what their job is supposed to be comes out sounding false and patronizing. Giving someone kudos for the way they handled a difficult customer on the telephone is something else; who hasn’t had to deal with an unhappy customer at least once in their professional lives?

Today I give you permission to dream about the things you want in your life, and while you’re doing it dream about ways in which you’re going to make someone else’s life positive today.

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