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Have you ever noticed that people have a tendency to say one thing and then do another? I’m sure you have. I see it all the time in the business […]

Have you ever noticed that people have a tendency to say one thing and then do another? I’m sure you have. I see it all the time in the business training I do. The problem is, we often put too much hope in what people say, and we totally ignore their actions.

I am so very blessed that I encountered a multimillionaire back in the mid-90’s. I was dealing with a lot of frustration at the time. I was running two companies and leading a sales force, and it was so stressful! It was in a season in my life when I took a "stupid pill" and I decided I was going to work 16-18 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, and I was destroying my life. I’d had a heart attack and a nervous breakdown by the time I was 25 years old.

Then I met this man who poured into me for about a year before we entered into any professional partnership. He was in his late 40’s, with gray hair, and he was a very peaceful man. He was very successful, with multimillion dollar companies. In fact, the company he had at that time was a 33 million dollar company. One thing he taught me that relieved so much stress was this: "Don’t listen to what people say; watch what they do."

I was so twisted up in the promises people made – things like, "Dani, I want to be your #1 producer. Please teach me and show me!" – and I would get suckered into teaching people who had all the right words to say, yet at the end of the day they ended up doing nothing.

My heart would be broken and I would be so let down and disappointed, so I would bury myself in my work, and I got frustrated, bitter, and resentful.

And guess what – when you are frustrated, bitter, and resentful, you are not productive at all! You can’t think clearly, you can’t make clear decisions, and you are lost in confusion.

I told this man what was going on with people inside of my company, and he just looked at me with this precious smile as he dropped this bomb of wisdom on me. He told me, "Dani, don’t listen to what people say. You have to watch what they do. The people you’re working with so desperately want to be what they think you want them to be. They want to perform at the level they’re telling you, because they want you to be impressed by them. But the reality is, they’re telling you what they think you want to hear so they will be accepted by you. But in the end, they’re doing exactly what THEY want to do."

That was so freeing for me. But it was also so sad. I thought, how terrible it is that people are trying to perform in order to gain my acceptance. I already love and accept them, and I already love working with them! Another part of me felt like, "Just be HONEST with me! Don’t lie to me! Tell me what you want to do!"

So right away, I went to a few of them and I apologized and I took full responsibility. Even though I didn’t tell anyone they needed to perform for my acceptance, that was their perception. So I went to them and said, "Please forgive me. I want to make sure I haven’t done or said anything to make you feel like I will not accept you if you do not perform at a certain level. Please forgive me if I have created that perception, because that is not my heart at all. I’d much rather know what you feel like you’re capable of doing consistently, and help you build confidence one step at a time in the right direction." I’m telling you, this built such a beautiful bridge of unity and freedom.

My friend, you cannot listen to what people say. Watch what they do. There are people around you who may be performing just to gain your acceptance. You’ve got to let them know they already have it. If you help them start where they are to build their confidence and develop their skills, they will eventually be able to perform at that higher level.

The truth is, no one performs well under pressure. It may be a good time to have this talk with the people you work or live with. This way, you can count on each other and count on the reality of what can be done in peace, instead of stressing each other out and telling lies to try to impress each other. You don’t want to communicate with other people this way! You want relationships that are built on truth, whether you are running a business, managing people, or even running a charity or a family.

Again, don’t listen to what people say; watch what they do. What they’re doing is what they want to do, so you’ve got to meet them right where they are. Disarm the perception of pressure, and lay a foundation of success.

Here’s a great way to start that conversation – print this out and have a discussion at work with your employees or business partners, or have a discussion with your family around the dinner table tonight. You can also pass it along through email, or post this link on Facebook and Twitter. Let’s get this Daily Fix out to the people we care about so we can help them succeed in their business, career, and personal life.


In great faith,


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