Altruistic Thinking: Look Outside Yourself

By Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt)

“Giving is true having.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Preacher

In situations of stress, especially in work environments, it’s easy to become focused on your own feelings and challenges. Self-preoccupation is human nature and necessary in many cases. But while you tackle the difficulties of your day, why not also help someone else with his or her own problems? A willingness to give signifies an evolved way of thinking – and living.

The Altruistic Thinking style is characterized by a concern for others and a deep value for relationships. This thinker naturally comforts an individual, creates cohesiveness among the team, and leads with passion and understanding. The altruistic thinker may occasionally become bogged down by other people’s issues, but she finds fulfillment by working through them.

  • As a thinker, are you able to look beyond your own troubles to help friends, family, and co-workers around you — even when you’re stressed?
  • As a team member, do you know an altruistic thinker who is so concerned with others that she overlooks her own needs or well being?
  • As a leader, how do you position this thinker to succeed, even if she’s not motivated by monetary success?

The new economy is going to continue to require us all to exercise the altruistic part of our brain and have us look outside ourselves. If you are tackling a delicate matter, recruiting volunteers, arbitrating a debate or delivering bad news, altruistic thinking is going to be your key to your success. If this is not your strong suit, I recommend strengthening an underutilized area of your brain you may have forgotten you have or identifying and identifying and leveraging those who excel in this area.  Doing things the old way or waiting on someone to give to you is not a choice. Look outside yourself – it’s time to give back!

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