The ABC of Action
Assertive, Bold, Considerate

The astonishing apparent miscalculation by Saudi Arabia in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi is one significant step further up the ladder of violent international confrontation. Soon there may be a step too far. Whether in the South China Sea, North Korea or some tinderbox yet to be identified, there will surely be a clash of ideas too provoking to avoid a response, too heinous to ignore.

Pace is a contributor to this Gadarene rout. When everything is moving fast it is hard to isolate and slow down one aspect of life. International diplomacy may have been thought ponderous in the past. For seventy years it has kept a substantial world peace during a time when weapons of war were becoming more efficient and fingers on them increasingly itchy to pull the trigger.

Now, it seems, violence is on the increase from Yemen to New York, regardless of the idiocy of it. From the wise people of India to the beautiful people of the Philippines, fake news – the modern equivalent of the riot – has spread its grimy hand across an increasingly bitter and disenchanted world. The things we love are disappearing. The climate is taking its revenge. The individual is drowning in an excess of information, technological change and lack of direction and purpose.

It’s all very well prattling on about the ‘solution of moderation’. Nobody listens. We have all got so used to the headline as our guide to instant judgment. It’s as though we were in a football match without goalposts but with referees of totally opposing ideas of how the game should be played. And a pitch with thousands of people on it. Nobody’s going to call half-time. You can’t stop.

That last sentence isn’t true. You can stop but you have to be careful how and when you do so or you will be out of the game forever. Let’s turn that around and ask ‘How do you stay in the game, remain sane, behave decently and win’? I hear a few ‘impossibles’. They are wrong. The individual is still the basis of society. His or her behaviour is still the greatest teacher we have because example is what we learn most from. We’re not getting very good examples from the world’s leaders right now. But are we giving the good example we’d like to be getting?

To do that we need to follow The ABC of ACTION.

Assertive is Armament for survival and promotion. It means push on, push back. It is an attitude not a behaviour. Of course, it translates into behaviour when you practice it. You never will until you adopt the right attitude. You find that inside you. If you can’t, get help. It’s worth it.

Bold is Brazen and there’s not enough of it about. The people who are demonstrating it are not doing the right things. But they are being bold – and getting away with it. Why aren’t the people who are doing the right things being bold? They are frightened of their images, their incomes and their legacies. Had Obama been bolder he would have been one of the best ever Presidents.

Considerate is Collegiality at its best. It is how you get others to listen. They don’t hear inconsiderate people because we chose what we hear and ignore the rest. Today, considerate means weighing the other person’s time as at least as valuable as yours. It means reading the other person more creatively and imaginatively so that you see all the possibilities.

Apply the test of the ABC of ACTION to everything you are doing, to every meeting you have, to every exchange with your boss, your peers, your customers, your suppliers, your subordinates. Make a list of the fifteen encounters and projects you are working on that matter most and see if your handling them is in line with the ABC of ACTION. If not, adjust your handling. It will pay you big dividends. Learn to say to yourself at every encounter “ABC”. It will remind you of how you will approach this meeting. If you are running meetings start each meeting with the words “ABC of ACTION – Assertive, Bold, Considerate”. They may laugh at you. Let them – it will soon be your turn to laugh. When it is – don’t. You, too, must be considerate.

The world is finely balanced. Look at how closely election results are awarding starkly opposing ideologies the right to rule. Look at how those leaders of behaviour, the religions, are locked in savagely opposing beliefs about the spirituality of humankind. Look at how a United States President can walk away from a World Peace Conference to commemorate the fallen in wars over the last 100 years. Behaviour as disgusting as I can recall in 86 years of watching politics.

The world is finely balanced. That means every person counts even more. If you are in Florida and didn’t vote you are kicking yourself pretty hard now. Every election, every action, every word is a vote to determine what the world shall be.

I hope your vote will be for the ABC of ACTION.

Because we all need you to be Assertive, Bold and Considerate. Bless you if you are.

Bless you if you will become.

Terrific Mentors International Pte Ltd handles many client’s who seek to become Assertive, Bold, Considerate. Our ‘ABC of Action’ programme takes 5 x 90-minute Sessions face-to-face or Skype.
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