Sklover’s Monday Thought: “Head for You, Heart for Others”

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To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

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An astute observation, no doubt borne of much introspection and retrospection. One that is of especially great value at work.

Yes, “talk” to yourself before any significant interaction. Might your approach be urged on you by runaway emotion? Is your anticipated path forward wise or foolish, sensible or senseless, self-helping or self-defeating? Before acting or speaking, consider risk and reward before saying or doing. As is commonly said, “Before you do or say, first use your head.”

On the other hand, when dealing with others, give ample consideration to the feelings you are likely to evoke. Calming, reassuring, likely to elicit a smile in response? Or perhaps the instinct to begin fight, give flight or sheer fright? What others feel precedes, and often determines, what they think. Once what you do or say, it penetrates their soul, it remains there for a good long while, perhaps forever. It is experienced by others as evidence of your authentic heart, your true intent, your real self. As wise people often caution, “When you go forward, lead with your heart.”

At work and elsewhere this week, bear in mind the profound and powerful advantages of this insight. Try to incorporate it into each step you take, to encourage both your own and others’ greater success: “To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart.”

This insightful quote was sent to us two weeks ago by Gilberto D. of St. Paul, Minnesota, the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” I lived and worked there in the 1970’s, and learned a lot from Gilberto in those years. Sure enough, his “lessons” continue to arrive in my “mailbox” to this day. Thanks, and stay well, my friend!

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