In Every Human Interaction…

In every human interaction, one person is training another how to behave. The question is: Do you want to be the trainer or trainee?

Almost everyone opts to be the trainer…until they learn what that entails. Choosing to be the trainer imposes requirements upon us. The trainer must be:

  • Committed to the welfare of all he meets.
  • Open to the possibility of being wrong.
  • Continuously expanding his knowledge base.
  • Non-judgmental.
  • Results oriented.

Let’s explore each of these in more detail.

Welfare of others

If you want the cooperation of others, your behavior must demonstrate a genuine interest in their welfare. Words alone won’t accomplish this, you actions must be congruent with your words.

Being wrong

If we want others to be open to the possibility of being wrong, we have to model that behavior. Acknowledging the possibility of being wrong, and admitting our mistakes when we are wrong, enhances our image in others’ eyes. We gain credibility, and the trust of others, when we’re open to the possibility of being wrong. It also encourages others to consider the possibility that they may be wrong.

Expanding knowledge base

Effective trainers are continuously in the learning mode. They enjoy learning which enables them to help others deal with a broader array of situations.

One of the ways that effective trainers learn is through the insights, experiences and ideas of others. The trainer must behave in a way that demonstrates his belief that he can learn from everyone. There isn’t a person among us who doesn’t have an insight, an experience or an idea that could benefit us and, in doing so, expand our knowledge base.


Judgments are emotional reactions in which we judge people, things or situations as good or bad, right or wrong. If we allow judgments, which form as a result of an emotional reaction, to dictate our behavior, we invite others to respond similarly. If, however, we set judgments aside, we lower the emotions of all involved and, in doing so, minimize the likelihood of emotions escalating into anger and violence.

Results oriented

If you want to be the trainer, your interest has to be in producing results…results that benefit all involved. Trainers aren’t interested in blaming; they realize that as soon as those involved begin looking for someone to blame, the likelihood of producing results goes down dramatically.

Trainers know that there is a solution for every problem. They also know that they won’t always have the best solution. These attitudes, along with their inherent humility, makes it easy for them to deal with any situation they face…whether individually or as a member of a group.

This results orientation encourages others to adopt the trainer’s belief in the possibility of a solution and encourages others to be open to the possibility that others’ solutions might be better than the one they envision.

What does this mean for you?

For you

If you want to be treated well, if you want to be able to influence others’ thinking, if you’d like to become a leader, you must develop the skills of being:

  • Genuinely concerned with the welfare of others.
  • Open to the possibility of being wrong.
  • Interested in continuously expanding your knowledge base.
  • Non-judgmental.
  • Results oriented.

If you already possess these skills, wonderful! Continue to exercise your skills each and every day. You’ll continue to see improvement in these skills throughout your life. You’ll also attract people who share these qualities.

Are you missing one or two of these skills? Choose one that’s particularly problematic for you, then complete this exercise. At the beginning of each day remind yourself that you’re going to behave as an effective trainer would. Realize that you’ll have multiple opportunities each day to develop the skill you desire.

Just before retiring each evening, review your successes for that day. If there were instances when you weren’t as successful as you’d have liked, think about what you’d do differently in the future. Mistakes are simply a part of the learning process; not something to be used to berate ourselves.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’re able to develop the skill you desire. In a matter of a week or two you won’t even have to think about how you’re behaving, you’ll automatically behave as a trainer would.

For our kids

When the kids in your life struggle in their dealings with others, share with them the fact that in every human interaction one person is training another how to behave. Then share with them what it means to become a trainer and how developing these skills will benefit them throughout their lives. You’ll be giving them a huge leg up in life.

Click here (opens in a new link) to get future messages delivered directly to your inbox.

Let others know that you love them by sharing this blog post. They’ll appreciate that you care.

Readers would love to see your thoughts and experiences in a comment.

If you’d like to enjoy great confidence, check out our Confidence Self-Study programs (opens in a new link).

If you’d like to enrich the lives of others by teaching them to be more confident, check out our Teaching Confidence Instructor Certification program (opens in a new link).

Follow dfurtwengler:

Latest posts from

2 Responses

  1. Bill Prenatt

    Dale, I’m so thankful that you introduced me to this topic several years ago. As a business coach,
    I frequently encounter clients that complain about employee behavior that is a byproduct of their own behavior.

    Over the years after many coaching discussions with clients, I have always found that my clients appreciate this important point bought to their attention as it typically is in their blind spot.

    • dfurtwengler

      I’m glad to hear that it’s been so helpful to you…and your clients. Unfortunately, it is a blind spot for most people simply because no one teaches us this as we are growing up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *