Paul Hargreaves: No more dog eat dog
I know it’s partly my age and perhaps less pervasive now, but I was brought up at school and home with the view that if I win, then someone else must lose. Actually it is not just about how we think, our neurochemicals back this up to some degree with our Serotonin hits making us crave status and being viewed highly by others.
This competitive, dog eat dog world-view used to be seen as an essential part of business. We must defeat the enemy, our suppliers or competitors, otherwise we may not survive. This rather silly attitude is a) quite stressful, b) not necessarily true and c) doesn’t make us particularly kind people. Far better to collaborate and find a way of both sides winning and to be generous to everyone even though it may seem counter-intuitive. I am reminded of how I used to drive, when two lanes were merging into one, determined not to give an inch otherwise I may be one car behind in the continuing queue. Did that behaviour actually get me to my destination any quicker? No! Did it give me a more relaxed, enjoyable day? No! So, now I have stopped the childishness and am generous in letting others into the traffic.
You see, human beings are meant to be community animals. That’s how we are made up, and yes I wasn’t lying about Serotonin, but we have another neurochemical called Oxytocin, which promotes bonding and love between fellow human beings. So kind behaviour that helps other humans can make us feel good too. No need to be top dog. Why don’t you find ways to give to others this week? Don’t always negotiate to the bitter end, sometimes a supplier may need a little more margin to give you good service, for example. Stop fighting and start giving, and I promise you will be happier, enjoy life more and may even live longer.