Holding Up a Mirror

Have you taken time to reflect?


Are you striving for more clarity in your life and your leadership journey? In this video, Duane Cummings, author and international leadership speaker, shares how he serves and coaches others by providing a fresh perspective.

Often, a well-timed, direct question can move someone to see his/her situation differently, explains Duane, who says he uses questions strategically. Recognizing that people don’t learn effectively when they are merely told what to do, he says he helps others realize change through their own meaningful, personal revelation. Duane says, “You can tell someone something all day long, but they must discover it for themselves if there's going to be real, true change.” He calls it "holding up a mirror."

"A person will begin to reflect on his or her words and actions when you ‘hold up a mirror’ because that's what a mirror does. When the person takes time to reflect, it makes him or her more cognizant and aware.”

As a servant leader, Duane delves into the core of self-awareness, relationships, life and career. As the author of The Sensational Salesman, Duane says he wants his readers to be sensational not just in the marketplace, but in every aspect of their life.

“We all need authentic mentors in our lives to reflect back to us our true selves,” Duane adds. Only after honest self-evaluation can we make the changes we really need to become leaders worth following.

Want to know more about achieving a sensational life? Dive into Duane’s Leadercast NOW channel for more of his leadership insights!

So, I often speak about holding a mirror up either to myself or to other people and a lot of people aren't used to that language. What that really means is to see yourself for who you are and get a clear view of it. And when I'm doing it for someone else, I'll hold the mirror up, and I'll ask them questions about, "What's your relationship with your spouse like?” if they're married or their partner. "What kind of communication have you had with your children lately? What are you doing on a fun weekend? What are you finding joy in? What are your hobbies?" And they will begin to reflect because that's what a mirror does, is you reflect and it makes you cognizant and aware. And that's what mirrors do.

So if you're getting ready to go out on a big date, one of the last things you might do is just take a look in the mirror because you're becoming aware, you're reflecting on, "Okay. Am I prepared for this?" The same thing in life. And if you don't have the skill to hold a mirror up to yourself, then that's when you get someone else to do it for you. So for me, when I hold the mirror up to myself, because I've been doing this so long, I think I see it very clearly because you see in yourself what you see in others and vice versa, what you see in others you see in yourself. And I think because I've been through so many experiences in my life, I have a big bag of tricks to pull out or a big bunch of information or lots of information that I can help somebody else with.

So when I hold the mirror up to someone else, I typically already know what their issue or challenge might be and so I can start a line of questioning that helps them reflect on that situation, their current situation, what might have brought them to that point in their life and then that awareness happens. That's that light going off or the dawning. Because you can tell someone something all day long, but they must discover it for themselves if there's probably going to be real, true change. And that's the difference in me saying or a counselor saying, "These are what I think are the challenges you are facing or the issues you have," and someone else saying, "Wow, I just realized that I've been doing this and I need to change."

Duane Cummings

Duane Cummings lives life with a single purpose, “To Aid Others, Act on Ideas, and Achieve Sensational Results.” He is a trusted advisor to organizations and individuals around the world regarding professional and personal development...

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