One of the biggest problems we can face as business owners and is judging and not being accepting of other people. We’ve all done it at some time or another and it’s probably happened to us too.

We have different personalities, different morals and ethics and we often have a different outlook and approach on many things in life, but how do we put those things to one side and become more accepting of each other to work towards a more common and positive goal?

In this episode, I am going to tell you how. 

Whether in business or in life we learn through or own experiences and we are shaped to become who we are as a result of what we have been through. The trouble is it’s not always the best thing for us and just because we do things that way it doesn’t mean it’s the only way.

If at work you’re all action and don’t suffer fools lightly, but you find it hard to switch that off and become accepting and more open when you’re at home then it can lead to problems.

Having a sharp and direct approach with people may work in the boardroom but not with your friends and loved ones.

Too often we take the expectations and values we hold ourselves accountable too and put them onto others, expecting them to behave as we do and failing to accept anyone different.

If that’s something you struggle with try my top tips to help you become a more rounded and welcoming and more accepting of others for who they are.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat

Possibly one of the hardest things we can do is to be honest with ourselves and to take a long hard look in the mirror, admitting that as much as we may think we do, we don’t know everything.

There is, after all, more than one way to skin a cat.

When I think of my own sporting experiences I can think of two coaches that I had who employed very different coaching styles but with the same goal in mind and who achieved very similar results.

One of them was a kind, caring, nurturing type of coach that put his arm around you as a player and helped to get the best out of each individual. He focussed on skill development, team cohesion and putting it all together to achieve the end result.

The other coach was the polar opposite, focusing on hard work and being mentally tough, employing some very questionable tactics to get us to function as a team.

He would shout, swear and throw things to get his point across and he wanted us to humiliate the opposition every time we played.

He would light a fire under any player that he felt wasn’t giving maximum effort and he had no time for players that weren’t meeting his standards.

The same can be said of business and the leadership styles of people like Steve Jobs at Apple who by many accounts, despite being successful, is cast as a Tyrant, whereas Tim Cook who is now at the helm, is referred to as charismatic and thoughtful with a very different leadership style.

Accepting that you don’t know everything and that there are different ways of achieving the same result is one of the first steps to making you more accepting of others.

You can only change yourself 

Unless you are actively involved in trying to change and become better people (as you are now) it is not often that people actually change for the better.

Despite our best efforts people are always going to revert back to what they know and their default settings, therefore it’s worth remembering that all you can really do is show others the way but ultimately you have no control over what they do, you can only change yourself.

By adopting and modelling positive behaviours you can hopefully highlight the right path but whether or not they take it is up to them.

It’s also worth remembering tip 1 (you don’t know everything), so rather than focussing on trying to change others, focus your energy on self-improvement.

Look for the positives

This was something I learned as a coach when trying to deal with different players on my team and different personalities.

People respond differently in different situations and although some people may like the straight-talking, cut to the point, blunt analysis of their misgivings, most people do not.

Instead of focussing on why someone is different, or the negative things you don’t like about them, focus on their positives and what you do like about them.

Not accepting others is often a result of solely focussing on their negatives.

Stop judging a book by its cover

It’s easy to silently judge people that you meet without even thinking about it. Instead, fix your mindset and your thought process to stop doing this. Start to change your thoughts to a more accepting view and move away from judgemental thinking.

Avoid right/wrong 

In today’s world it’s easy to see the world as binary, you’re either right or you’re wrong and there’s no other option but that’s not the case and not how life works.

If you stop accepting your actions as right, and taking everyone else’s as wrong, then you will soon start to see that there are more ways of looking at things and other ways of doing things.

Put yourself in their shoes

This is a key aspect of accepting others and can take many different forms.

Reverse the situation and put yourself in their shoes.

How would you feel if someone was judging you and not accepting of you?

How would you feel if someone got on your back for no apparent reason?

How would you feel if someone were constantly focussing on your negatives and looking past your positives?

If you’re going to be more accepting of others its time you started to put yourself in their shoes and looked at it from the other side of the coin.

Final thoughts – Start with yourself

When it comes to accepting others it often comes back to accepting yourself first.

If you can learn to stop judging yourself and to let go of the past, focussing on the now, you can start to become more accepting of others for who they are and what they can offer.

Remember you’re not always right, you don’t know everything and other people have valid points too.

With that in your mind, you can start on your path to becoming a more accepting and caring person.