Learning to Read People

Dyslexia is something one copes with, but never really overcomes directly. That is not to say we give up, we just deploy a different skill set, recruiting the skill needed. We get by with a little help from our friends. There is no shame in asking for help, which is why people, are parts of the equation. When I find myself inept, it is no surprise I immediately seek out who excels where I have failed. Humility in doing so keeps it real; a humble question will not go unanswered. Life is like that for all of us. Most of us are a little more stubborn, or let our egos trick us into a prideful spirit. I think more than any skill I have the willingness to ask tops them all.

Trails are the things that shape our character; failure is a great teacher as long as one accepts it determined not accept it as the final answer, there must be a way we just know this was not it. This concept lies at the core of every great inventor. You learn to work with your deficits as well as your assets, avoiding the one while clinging to the other. It sure is easy to appreciate people where they are, when you know your own limits.

God seems to have a law. When he places a challenge on us, he seems to counter it with a gift. Our challenge is to seek out the gifts in people while accepting their weaknesses. When we walk together one will be there to pick up the other if he should stumble. I call it pissing on the bushes and marking your territory. We all mark our territory in our own special way, but the truth is we are formidable when we share that territory as a pack.

What is a weakness? It depends on the situation. For example, a 6′ 9″ man has to duck to keep from bumping his head while going through most doors. We call him height challenged until we can’t reach something on the top shelf. Then we are the ones that are height challenged. I think it matters what you are good at and we as people tend to do the things we excel at. Every asset has a liability; I could give you countless tradeoffs for every asset/advantage. Airplanes that go slow cannot go fast and airplanes that go fast cannot go slow. The answers change depending on the situation and what you need from a person. You would go broke if you needed me to be your typist or proofreader (neither are my forte) but if you needed someone who knew the right thing to say at the right time, I’m going to be a lot closer to your man of choice.

Having the right skills and knowing the limits of your own ability is key. How better off would I have been as a dyslexic would if I had recognized my need sooner than most?

For example, I learned early not to listen when I was told I couldn’t do something. I learned it was not what I could do but what I could get done. I used my people skills to recruit the assistance needed to do what people said I could not do. You just cannot take “no” for an answer because there is always a way for those who seek it.

You could say I had a hard time learning to read and that would be true. That is as long as you are not talking about what I did learn to read. What I did learn to read was not in a book or on a street sign but how to read people. You tell me which is the more valued skill? I will end with a simple saying you have heard all your life: it is how you read people! Walk a mile in their moccasins and you can read them just fine.

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