Robin Kessler - Competency Speaker and HR Consultant

Great quote

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus is known, in part, for his saying, “No man ever steps into the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man.” Tom Rachman, a more current author, used the quote in his book, The Imperfectionists, which is where I saw it when I was reading before going to sleep last night.

There are many other people who believe the saying about tigers not changing their stripes. Interestingly, this fits with Carol Dweck’s observations in her research and her book Mindsets, about the difference between fixed and growth mindsets. Do you believe that people can change?

The river analogy may work well for most of us, because rivers change the landscape slowly. 

Most of us recognize that our sense of humor is not the same today as when we were teenagers. I still remember ordering a pizza for an athlete who lived in our dorm at Northwestern and had been injured at a game. Five of us had the idea to ask the restaurant to spell Get well in pepperonis, and we thought that was the funniest idea that anyone could possibly come up with. I’m not sure it seems as funny today.

It seems to be easier for most of us to see our own changes – and harder to accept that others may change as well. Part of being a good coach, mentor or leader is to help people identify the changes they need to make to be more successful and then help them change their behavior.  Like the river, it may take patience and time.

When we think about competencies, we are talking about interpersonal skills, customer service orientation and organizational awareness to start. And the awareness that it is not easy.


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