I’m OK – You’re not so hot

Given all the chaos and confusion that seems to be happening at the moment, I keep meeting people who are feeling seriously stressed, concerned about the future and even in some cases, feeling quite fragile.

So I hope this week’s newsletter lifts your spirits and gets you back to believing in yourself.

Years ago I read the book ‘I’m OK – You’re OK and it just made so much sense.  The author, Thomas Harris MD was really talking about our communication styles from a parent/adult/child perspective. If you haven’t read the book, I urge you to do so.

Years later and in a bargain bin I found a spoof of the book called ‘I’m OK – You’re Not So Hot’ and the title just made me laugh. You see, at the time I was working with teams – and within those teams there would be all manner of personality clashes and personal conflicts being acted out at every meeting because that’s what humans do. Managers and team leaders were tearing out what was left of their hair trying to motivate people and achieve their targets.

And so I used to show them these four ‘states’ in the hope that people would a. have a laugh; b. take some responsibility if they were acting like an arrogant so and so; but also realise that in a team everyone has a voice and needs to be heard. The loud ones tend to think their idea is the best idea; that their opinion is the only one; that they are right and everyone else is wrong. And that’s so not the case.

Our need to be ‘right’ or our failure to be willing to listen to other opinions is actually based on our level of self esteem. If I have a healthy self esteem, I don’t have to be ‘right’ all the time; I will be able to listen to other opinions and even occasionally admit I am wrong. Shock, horror.

So back to the spoof book:

I’m OK – You’re OK is a healthy self esteem; in this space, it really does mean I don’t have to make another person wrong in order that I get to be right. I means that I’m comfortable with who I am but am willing to change if something is presented to me which suggests I can change my mind.

I’m OK – You’re NOT OK. On the face of it, this stance comes from a place of arrogance. It says that I know better than you and who are you to think that you could be right and I could be wrong?

You’re OK – I’m not OK comes from a place of low self esteem. Even if I have ideas and opinions, if your ideas and opinions differ from mine then I will defer to you, because I think you are so much smarter than me; what do I know about anything?

I’m not OK – You’re not OK says that the whole world is a mess. Everyone is out to get you; don’t trust anyone; watch your back at all times; never share ideas cos someone will pinch them.

Get it? I bet you know people who fall easily into these four categories, the question is, which category do YOU fall into, and which one would you RATHER fall into?

“Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” Oscar Wilde

Enjoy. Have a chuckle, but above all else, believe in yourself.

Ann Andrews CSP

Author: Lessons in Leadership: 50 ways to avoid falling into the ‘Trump’ trap


Leave a Reply

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