Bet You Don’t Know “Jack”

Books Empathy Respect


Key Point: Dr. Stephen R. Covey challenges us, “Express love and appreciation to those whom you associate with. Listen empathetically to them. Devote time to learning about them, what is important to them, what is their story.”

Dr. Covey was picked by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential Americans of 1996. His wisdom is remarkable and he inspires and teaches us even more in his new book The 3rd Alternative.

One small but very important point of Covey’s many teachings is captured in the key point above. When I determine whether people REALLY care about the people they work with, I ask them to tell me about the closest individuals they work with and to describe their “story.” Often people have difficulty going beyond the minimum detail. They don’t know that person’s situation. They can’t name their loved ones. They have a hard time articulating what these folks are good at, what they like to do and how they bring value to those around them. If you cannot complete the following assignment then my belief is that you “don’t know jack” and you care more about people in word than in action.

Character Move:

  1. Complete the “story” of at least 10 people you most closely associate with. If you can’t name their most immediate loved ones, you can’t pass “GO.” You’re not serious and don’t tell me you’ve got a poor memory; that’s a big lame excuse.
  2. Be able to describe what each person is good at, like to do, and how they provide value.
  3. Describe how you’ve acknowledged each of these top 10 associates in the last 30 days.
  4. Then do the 1 through 3 above with the 20 of your closest associates.

Don’t think of yourself as having respect as defined in the Character Triangle if you can’t do the above.

Know Jack in the Triangle,