What is Character Core?

character-core-group-480x321Boswell Oil Company in Athens, GA is proud to participate in the Character Core program as a Character Core Member. Character Core helps people see the value of good character…so they can build better workplaces and communities. At Boswell Oil, we have learned that success is determined by relationships and that relationships are determined by character. We strive to live out the principles taught in the Character Core program each and every day.

As part of the program, the employees of Boswell Oil focus monthly on one of 49 character qualities that help to define good character. It is our belief that as people care about integrity and relationships, an organization will improve customer service, retain good people, strengthen teamwork and build goodwill in the community.

For more information on the Character Core program, please visit www.characterfirst.com.

Take Courage
A lighthouse beacon pierces the darkness and gives direction to those in danger. But the lighthouse itself must withstand what the wind and surf dish out.

A bold person can also clarify a situation, but he or she must have a firm commitment to integrity and a willingness to endure.

Overcome Fear
Boldness is not disregard for danger. A bold person recognizes the consequences of doing wrong, and this realization puts other fears in perspective.

In order to address a workplace conflict, a person must often work through his or her own uneasiness about the outcome and identify the right thing to do. This person asks, “What is my responsibility to the organization and to my coworkers?” not “How can I avoid losing my job?”

Address Injustice
Many become distracted by how an action will make them look, and some try to avoid making a decision altogether. As a result, they impose on others and perpetuate the injustice they thought they could avoid.

A lighthouse need only take one night off to precipitate disaster, and it only takes one unaddressed wrong to erode relationships and undermine your team’s effectiveness.

Have Confidence
Boldness brings hope, not in the pleasantness of the outcome but in the rightness of the action. A bold person’s confidence rests on integrity, not personal charisma or popular support.

Boldness begins with an honest assessment. Identify the problem, recognize how you contributed, and fulfill your responsibility.

Individuals with differing roles should approach injustice differently. An executive must identify team members who can make a difference and work with them to address the issue. A supervisor might appeal to a higher authority as well as address whatever details fall within his or her jurisdiction.

Every person contributes to the workplace for better or worse. Develop the boldness to address your shortcomings, tell the truth and promote justice.

Boldness In Balance

Persuade Effectively
Persuasiveness is “guiding vital truths around another’s mental roadblocks.” Do not confuse boldness with brashness. A bold person should consider how others will hear what needs to be said and choose words they will understand. Get to know others so that you can communicate more effectively.

Think Compassionately
Compassion is “investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others.” Compassion allows a bold person to address wrongs and restore relationships. Identify with others so that you can make the situation right and build peaceful relationships.

Act Cautiously
Cautiousness is “knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions.” There is a time for everything, and a bold person must remain aware of the situation in order to develop the best approach. Identify when and how you can do the most good, and time your words and actions carefully.
Finding Faith
While faith is commonly discussed in a religious context, it has a much broader application. Faith provides confidence and peace of mind as it bases decisions on sound principles.

Faith Begins With Belief
Contrary to some perceptions, faith must have logical basis in fact. It is not “blind” or “ignorant.” Faith first considers everything known about a matter.

For example, airplanes are designed to fly. You can observe planes flying every day, you may have already ridden in a plane, you can see how planes are built, you can learn how planes have been tested, and you can talk to others who have flown in planes. This evidence gives you a basis to believe airplanes are a relatively safe means of transportation.

The same process can apply to other areas, including good character. The more you learn and experience good character, the more you can rely on those principles to guide you.

Faith Builds Confidence
No matter how much you discover about a subject, you will always encounter “unknowns.” Faith overcomes uncertainties by weighing what is known against what is not known.

When you do not know how a business deal, a relationship, or a project may end, rely on what you do know—that actions rooted in truthfulness, diligence, sincerity, and loyalty will produce the best outcome possible.

Faith Leads to Action
The evidence of your faith lies in your actions. If you believe in the laws that make flight possible, you should have the confidence to step on board an airplane. If you believe in your business plan, you will implement it. If you have faith in good character, you will fearlessly do what is right!

As you base decisions on proven principles, you can confidently pursue the process before you, instead of trying to manipulate results.

When you face a difficult decision, consider everything you know, observe, or have experienced; consult with others; determine what is right; and move forward Belief in Action
In order to demonstrate the law of the pendulum, a student asked the professor to sit on an elevated chair against one side of the room. The student hung a rope from the ceiling and tied an anvil to the free end. Holding the anvil in front of the professor’s face, the student stated that the law of the pendulum and predicted that the anvil would not exceed the point where it started.

When the student released the anvil, it swung across the room and back, as predicted, to a point just short of where the professor’s face would have been—had he kept his seat.

By leaving the chair, the professor showed he did not actually believe what he taught. You may know the answers, but credibility comes as you act on your knowledge

Faith in Balance

Demonstrate Humility
Humility is “acknowledging that achievement results from the investment of others in my life.” Sometimes that “investment” comes in the form of correction. If you find your original ideas are flawed, demonstrate humility and change your course of action rather than stubbornly holding to wrong ideas.

Exercise Discernment
Discernment is “understanding the deeper reasons why things happen.” When a situation does not turn out the way you hoped, investigate why. Perhaps your information is incorrect or your process is flawed. Faith does not ignore problems; it discerns causes and looks for appropriate solutions.

Practice Endurance
Endurance is “the inward strength to withstand stress and do my best.” Few of history’s great inventors succeeded on their first attempt. Many endured ridicule, failure, and financial hardship as they pursued their dreams. Do not lose heart when your initial plans fail. Evaluate your ideas, refine your methods, and do your best.
Keep Time
The way you spend today will determine whether you look back from tomorrow with regret or satisfaction.

Value Time
Different individuals experience different levels of financial and social opportunity, but each person receives the same 24 hours per day.

Further, you must spend time as you get it. Once it is spent, you can never replace it. The past is gone. The future is not guaranteed. The only time you have is now.

Therefore, punctuality requires you to manage this irreplaceable resource wisely, and finish projects in time to move forward with other projects. Punctuality requires more than arriving on time; it requires prioritizing your activities in order to do what is most valuable.

Value People
Valuing another person’s time shows respect for that person. Arriving on time to meetings shows honor to your supervisor. Concluding an appointment on time shows respect for those attending. Limiting your demand on others’ time shows you value their priorities.

If an employee takes 20 minutes to tell a coworker what could have been said in 5 minutes, that employee takes 15 minutes from the coworker and wastes 30 minutes of the company’s time.

Value Projects
Life is not a dry run. Others know your true values by the priorities you establish in your daily schedule.

Punctuality does not pursue productivity for its own sake. A punctual person demonstrates respect for others and care for the task at hand.

Whether making business decisions or arriving in time to see a family member play softball, punctuality recognizes the passage of time and seeks to give each task, project, and priority its appropriate time.

Whatever your opportunities, do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, and gain the satisfaction of a job well done.

Punctuality In Balance

Finish Thoroughly
Thoroughness is “knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected.” As you perform tasks or rush to meet a deadline, do not neglect the details that distinguish finished from excellent. Thoroughness communicates your esteem for others and keeps punctuality from becoming hastiness.

Persevere Patiently
Patience is “accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it.” When you cannot finish a job on time, patience allows you to stay on task and see it through without cutting corners or giving in to frustration. Do your job the right way, even when factors beyond your control delay its completion.

Treat Others Gently
Gentleness is “showing consideration and personal concern for others.” Do not become preoccupied with the schedule at the expense of the goals and relationships that ought to drive it. Gently respond to interruptions so that others do not feel like objects in your pursuit of success.
Rich and Poor
A person can demonstrate resourcefulness by recycling newspapers, aluminum cans, and old appliances, but resourcefulness also extends to the way a person manages subscriptions, purchases, and appliances still in use.

Recognize Resources
Many people do not consider themselves rich in dollars and cents. However, wealth is not limited to finances. A person’s resources include time, education, talents, health, faith, family, friends, and character.

A wise person uses these resources to live a prosperous life. Ask trustworthy friends for advice. Draw on family and faith to overcome discouragement. Use talents and training to excel at work. Manage your time wisely so that you can do what is most important.

Focus Your Management
Resourcefulness is not an issue of having more but of using what you have to its full potential. Should you purchase a new appliance if the one you have still works reliably? Should you subscribe to a newspaper or magazine you do not have time to read? Should you buy food that spoils before you eat it? Use what you have before replacing it.

Find a Purpose
Amos Lawrence, an early American merchant wrote, “He is not rich who lays up much, but he who lays out much; for it is all one not to have, as not to use.”

Do not hoard resources. Improve your business, invest in your community and care for your family. Remember, everything you build or acquire will eventually pass to someone else. Use your possessions before you lose the opportunity.

Establish Values
Many problems in business and life stem from greed, selfishness and discontent. Establish personal values to keep you from seeking dishonest gain.

Conduct business according to the highest standards, and build a quality life instead of merely gathering possessions.

Do not wait for a better car, a bigger salary or a bigger savings account to practice resourcefulness. Recognize what you have, and put it to the best use possible.

Resourcefulness In Balance

Act Wisely
Wisdom is “seeing and responding to life situations from a perspective that transcends my current circumstances.” Though not every broken object is worth repairing, there may be other reasons for fixing something. Recognize the costs, benefits, and other issues associated with each situation.

Maintain Order
Orderliness is “arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve greater efficiency.” Your resources cannot benefit you unless you have an orderly system of storing, accessing, and managing them. Do not let procrastination, laziness, or the everyday rush prevent you from organizing and using your resources.

Live Generously
Generosity is “carefully managing my resources so I can freely give to those in need.” Generosity helps a person put resources to the best use rather than merely the most profitable use. It also keeps a resourceful person from becoming greedy and grasping. View your resources as a means to an end rather than as an end in themselves.
Grow Up
Trees and other plants grow together and influence one another in a forest. Similarly, humans interact with and influence one another in their homes, communities, and workplaces.

Begin Where You Are
Just as a tree begins as a little seed and grows throughout its life, you should begin where you are and develop good character throughout your life. In the process, you will encounter individuals at all stages of development and some stunted and twisted by poor choices.

These encounters provide opportunities to exercise tolerance. They can provide good examples, and they can warn of danger. But as soon as you condemn another or congratulate yourself on your superiority, you reveal your own struggles.

Ultimately, your job is not to change others but to help provide an environment in which they can make good decisions.

Pay Attention
Just as leaves and branches cover the forest floor, life often seems littered with “junk” from others’ lives, but these apparent inconveniences can aid growth.

Listen carefully as you work with others. No matter how gruff the message, you can glean wisdom and learn to communicate with those of differing perspectives.

Keep Growing
Carefully distinguish differences of opinion, personality traits, and character flaws. If an irritation results from disrespect, tardiness, deception, or some other character flaw, the individual and the others responsible must address the issue. In these cases, a tolerant person gives an offender opportunities to demonstrate changed behavior.

When working with someone who thinks or works differently, a person can show tolerance by trying to understand the other person’s perspective and motivations.

Tolerant individuals understand they are rooted to the same soil as those around them. Thus, tolerant persons recognize how they too fall short of good character, and they exercise patience with others while working to uphold the standard in practice and policy.

Set high standards, and motivate yourself and others to reach them.

Tolerance In Balance

Speak Boldly
Boldness is “confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just.” A person without a clear sense of truth and justice will resemble a ship without anchor or rudder—moving everywhere and going nowhere. Know what is right, apply it in everyday decisions, and challenge others to live up to the standard.

Emphasize Virtue
Virtue is “the moral excellence evident in my life as I consistently do what is right.” Virtue prevents tolerance from becoming permissiveness or hypocrisy because virtue requires a personal commitment to what is right. Do not excuse your weaknesses or failures. Exercise Discernment
Discernment is “understanding the deeper reasons why things happen.” Some may confuse tolerance with not caring. You can easily tolerate something you do not care about, but tolerance actively makes room for growth while holding to the ideal. As you learn to understand each person, you can make appropriate investments in each life.
Winning the Race of Life
Just as runners exert themselves physically in order to train for a race, individuals must develop endurance to overcome everyday challenges.

A runner begins training long before the race. He or she sets small objectives and builds upon slow, daily progress. Similarly, an enduring person commits to a goal and works steadily toward it.

Keep Hope Alive
Hope is the key. Individuals can endure because they believe present inconvenience will pass, they believe their efforts will yield satisfactory results, and they believe their lives will count for something. Your hope justifies the sacrifices you make in order to achieve your objectives.

Overcome Discouragement
Discouragement will occasionally threaten your progress, making you feel as though you are running in loose sand. You will not always see the finish line, and you might feel incapable of success.

Though you cannot always avoid the grief, exhaustion, or disappointment causing your discouragement, you can overcome your discouragement by pressing forward toward the goal you have set.

Run to Win
When a project fails or obstacles loom large, determine how best to respond. Do not yield to despair or try to erase the problem. Keep trying until you succeed.

Recognize reality, and take responsibility for what you can change. As you work through problems one step at a time, you will strengthen your habits of endurance and increase your confidence for the next challenge.

When the monotony of the task begins to wear on you or tempt you to cut corners, focus on each step, and remember the bigger objectives. If a task is worth doing, it is worth doing right—the first time.

Likewise, when large projects draw to a close, do not let your sense of relief or exhaustion lull you into complacency. Stay focused on your job until you complete it with excellence.

Use each day’s opportunities to build endurance and accomplish the immediate objective.

Five Keys to Building Endurance

1. Know the Goal
Those who visualize their goal can maintain the perspective necessary to surmount obstacles. Whether your difficulty revolves around a short-term goal or a larger concern, maintain hope and stay on course by focusing on your objective and the value of good character.

2. Take One Step at a Time
If a person tries to reach a goal in one step, he or she will quickly become frustrated. Once you envision the big picture, break it down into sequential steps so that you can make daily choices that bring you closer to your goals. Concentrate on the process, and let the results take care of themselves.

3. Find Support
Humans need community. Find colleagues running in the same direction so each person can support others. Consciously surround yourself with people of integrity. Look to those ahead for motivation, and invest your example and experience in those following behind. Seek those who can give you constructive advice and emotional support.

4. Renew Your Energy
Recognize the physical, mental, and emotional energy required to do a job, and take time to meet those needs. Pushing yourself beyond your capacity reduces productivity today and your ability to function optimally tomorrow. Take a break when you need one.

5. Finish Well
As a big project nears completion, the natural tendency is to relax as the finish line comes into view. This temptation threatens the entire effort as details get overlooked, distractions arise, and deadlines creep up suddenly. Apply consistent effort, and plan ahead so that you can work steadily until completion.
The Right Stuff
Sandcastles and snowmen have notoriously short lives, and their frailty illustrates the brevity of wealth and even relationships.

Uncertainty
Individuals should take responsibility to maintain relationships, build personal integrity and manage resources wisely, but many seek security in relationships, a good reputation or financial independence, and outcomes often depend on factors beyond the individual’s control.

In response to life’s unpredictability, some escape into hobbies, partying, television, work or shopping. Others look for social, religious, economic or even psychological formulas.

Action
Security manifests itself when you have the patience to see the benefits while you experience life’s trials, when you have the endurance to do what is right despite unpleasant circumstances, and when you have the faith to base your decisions on the principles of good character.

Along the way, you need the discernment to identify what is right, the decisiveness to put it into action, and the humility to accept correction when you miss the mark.

Hope
A normal person feels grief at the loss of a loved one, uncertainty at an unfavorable diagnosis, and discouragement at the loss of a job. When these storms arise, however, the secure person does not give up on what he or she knows.

You can experience benefits such as family vacation, the thrill of finishing a project at work, and the satisfaction of helping a friend succeed. These experiences illustrate the value of relationships, integrity, and hard work, and they point to satisfaction in life beyond yourself.

In many ways, a person cannot become more secure merely by deciding. Security grows as you build your life around values that cannot be washed away.

Security In Balance

Stand Alertly
Alertness is “being aware of what is taking place around me so I can have the right response.” Alertness prevents security from becoming isolationism. Notice what is happening around you and how it will affect others, and identify your responsibilities. Make sure you have a positive influence in your community.

Think Creatively
Creativity is “approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective.” Creativity keeps security from becoming stagnation. Look at a job or project from a new perspective, and consider better ways to achieve the goal.

Live Joyfully
Joyfulness is “maintaining a good attitude, even when faced with unpleasant circumstances.” Joyfulness makes the difference between someone who succeeds and someone who merely survives. Difficulties can make individuals bitter, but joyfulness helps a person overcome challenges and carry on.
The Engine That Can
When “better qualified” engines made excuses, one small engine tried—and succeeded. Since its first publication in 1906, this story has appeared in numerous variations and become a cultural icon.

Focus Effort
Like the small engine in the story, a diligent person takes responsibility for today’s tasks and sees them through to completion. Your diligence is not a matter of how much you must do but how you consistently do your best.

When projects do not proceed as planned or you find yourself juggling major projects, you can develop the discipline to avoid daydreaming, distraction and derailment. When working, write down unrelated thoughts so that you can revisit them later. When progress slows on part of a project, refresh yourself by working on something else for a while.

Set Priorities
Though many think of finishing quickly, diligence requires steady application. Diligent individuals set priorities and organize their schedules accordingly. When you approach the mountains of life, apply established principles. For example, your integrity, your commitment to family and your desire for excellence should affect the way you schedule business trips or weigh which investments to pursue. These priorities will help you focus your efforts in the time you have.

Get It Done
Sometimes, a task can become so engrossing that other details slide past. However, not eating regularly, leaving tools piled “to be put away later,” or neglecting family members “just until this project gets done” can cause stresses that eventually reduce your effectiveness. The condition of the ties, spikes and rails in a railroad contribute to the safe transport of people and goods from one place to another. Recognize the details of life as part of the process, and diligently keep yourself and those around you in physical, mental and emotional shape to stay productive over the long haul. As you focus your effort, set wise priorities and address the details, you can develop habits that will help you overcome the mountains in your path and benefit others as you work through the challenges along the way. Fulfill your responsibilities, and do your part to help the team reach its goals.

Diligence In Balance

Remain Available
Availability is “making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I serve.” Diligent individuals learn to concentrate on the task at hand. Thus, a diligent person must make time for family members, coworkers and friends. Make others a priority, even when their needs “do not fit” into the schedule.

Practice Tolerance
Tolerance is “realizing that everyone is at varying levels of character development.” Tolerance allows a diligent person to accept and appreciate others, even though some may not have the same talents and abilities. Further, tolerance allows a person to accept interruptions without showing disrespect for others. Invest your time to help others reach their full potential.

React Wisely
Wisdom is “seeing and responding to life situations from a perspective that transcends my current circumstances.” Wisdom allows you to set priorities and place setbacks in perspective. Organize your thoughts, balance work and rest sufficiently so that you can work steadily.
Soldier On
Many praise a soldier’s devotion to the unit, and most understand the implications when a traitor betrays comrades. In the workplace, however, loyalty and disloyalty often come in more subtle packages. Some might assume a coworker committed a wrong instead of talking to the coworker first. Many who would not directly slander someone will make excuses that reflect negatively on others. Beware if you hear yourself say, “I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but….”

Sacrifice Daily
Where there is no loyalty, order breaks down, and personal advantage becomes the only ethic. Loyal individuals affirm team members and make sacrifices so that others can succeed.

Though many associate personal sacrifice with misery, every choice involves some sacrifice. A person who would lead an organization might have less time for social events. Someone else might decline a promotion in order to avoid relocating his or her family.

Value Others
When you are busy, when you have a bad day, and when others are difficult, carefully consider what you can do to help each person around you. Consistent loyalty requires consistent consideration for others in spite of stressful situations.

A loyal employee will support organizational goals and will not circumvent supervisors to get what he or she wants. Loyal family members resolve issues rather than make individuals choose sides. A loyal employer corrects an employee privately, clearly, and directly.

Stand Firm
Identify how you can show loyalty in each relationship. Look beyond expectations, and find ways to benefit others.

Loyalty to parents would include obedience during childhood and might involve care and assistance later in life. When someone experiences a family tragedy, find ways to give practical assistance. When you hear a friend unfairly criticized, do not allow your silence to imply agreement.

Loyalty in the Balance

Pursue Justice
Justice is “taking personal responsibility to uphold what is pure, right, and true.” Those who lack personal convictions rarely show dependability or loyalty. Without justice, loyalty loses direction and purpose. Tell the truth, even when it hurts. Justice makes the difference between a flatterer and a loyal friend.

Find True Security
Security is “structuring my life around that which cannot be destroyed or taken away.” Others’ negative reactions can make life difficult. As you uphold commitments, take responsibility for your part of each relationship, and focus on how you can respond with integrity, regardless of others’ actions.

Practice Alertness
Alertness is “being aware of what is taking place around me so I can have the right responses.” Relationships require constant vigilance so that “small” offenses do not lead to big breakdowns. Be aware of those around you, and notice the circumstances in their lives. Pay attention to their needs and feelings.
Walls or Bridges
When someone new enters your family, community, or workplace, make an effort to get to know them.

Take Initiative
When you share comfort, conversation, or shelter with others, you build the bridges that hold communities together and allow individuals to relate positively. Family gatherings can revive bad memories and trigger negative reactions, yet if one person looks for practical ways to benefit others, that person can set a tone that might help others overcome the cycle of negative reactions. A hospitable person knows the difficulties involved and shares with others anyway.

Decide Carefully
A hospitable person asks, “What is best for this person?” not “What will the neighbors think?” Determine what you should do in each situation, and discern the best way to serve each person.

Choose close friends and advisors from among those who demonstrate wisdom and integrity, and carefully consider the kind of people to whom you expose your children.

Consider what your actions will tell others. Differing backgrounds should not keep you from learning to talk with coworkers, but you might need to exercise deference in some situations.

You might not take everyone to dinner, but you can still extend small courtesies and make others feel welcome.

Share Alike
Always respect the friendship another person extends through a meal or conversation, and express your gratefulness.

Many inflict loneliness on themselves by trying to appear perfect or invulnerable. You cannot express true hospitality without taking part in other’s lives and opening your life to others.

The living room floor might not always be vacuumed, and the welcome mat might not be perfectly straight, but these details should not keep you from trying to benefit others.

Express gratefulness for the benefits others bring into your life, and reach out to those in need.

Hospitality In Balance

Plan Decisively
Decisiveness is “the ability to recognize key factors and finalize difficult decisions.” Choose carefully whom you bring into your life in person and through entertainment. When you find someone in need, make a plan so that the relationship has clear structure and purpose. This habit will help you move in a positive direction.

Think Responsibly
Responsibility is “knowing and doing what is expected of me.” Responsibility prevents a hospitable person from becoming scattered and ineffective. Maintain clear priorities. Recognize those individuals for whom you are most directly responsible, and look for ways you can help them succeed.

Practice Thrift
Thriftiness is “allowing myself and others to spend only what is necessary.” Thriftiness prevents hospitality from becoming extravagance or irresponsibility. Target your generosity to others’ real needs, and secure the most benefit possible for your resources. Do not attempt to impress others or buy favor.
Are You Listening?
Whether it is life-or-death instruction or simple direction for cleaning a messy room, being ignored hurts! We are all equally valuable and should thus respect one another, recognizing there is a time to listen and a time to talk.

Would it not be simple if we could solve our problems by changing others? Focusing on their inattentiveness will not solve anything; focusing on our own lack of attentiveness is the first step toward changing ourselves.

We could learn to be better speakers as well. However, since volumes have already been written on that particular aspect of communication, we will instead focus on the importance of developing the character quality of attentiveness in our personal and professional lives.

Stop What You Are Doing
Even while being attentive with our ears, we communicate inattentiveness by shuffling papers, interrupting, glancing at our watch, reading or working. Limit other activities when listening. Be aware of your mannerisms and what they communicate.

Value Criticism
When others question your leadership or methods, your response lets them know how you value them. Patiently listen to others and appreciate the value of their words, their motive for sharing, the concepts behind their ideas, or the possible ideas that might result from their input.

Reacting angrily shows that you are not open to input. Responding with calm appreciation, however, lets others know that they have your full consideration. Even when you are unable to act on their words, listening with an attentive attitude communicates that their suggestions are valued.

End Conversations Graciously Attentiveness to one person or task can become inattentiveness to other people and responsibilities. Finish your conversations in a manner that communicates appreciation for the one speaking with you. Perhaps you could try using a sincere statement like the following:

“Thank you very much for your input. I need to go now, but if you have further thoughts, could you please put them on paper and we can set another time to review them?”

Attentiveness is especially important in meetings and in class. Avoid creating distractions such as interrupting the speaker, looking around the room, shuffling your feet, looking at your watch, or making jokes with the person next to you.

As you practice attentiveness, you can learn from those trying to help you and you can find out how your family members are really doing. Attentiveness can also help you avoid conflicts with coworkers and build the skills to do good work

Attentiveness in Balance

Be Alert to Surroundings
Alertness is “being aware of what is taking place around me so I can have the right responses.” Attentiveness and alertness are both important. You may be attentive to the task immediately before you, but if you do not hear the phone ring or see a customer come in, you may miss an important order.

Speak the Truth Boldly
Boldness is “confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just.” Be quick to listen and slow to speak. But when the time comes to speak for what is right, seize it! Develop listening skills by holding your tongue and allowing others to speak first. Contribute to conversation as you get to know those around you. Focus your attention and interest on others rather than drawing it to yourself. When you see a need, be ready to speak and draw attention to the truths that address the need.

Initiate Action
Initiative is “recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it.” There is a time to ask questions and a time to act. Do not expect every conversation to end in full understanding. Sometimes you will need to ask questions to make sure you understand the important details. Then, take appropriate initiative with the information you have received.


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