I have been a Rotarian since 2007. The Rotary Club’s philosophy of “Service above Self” aligns very well with my own personal belief. In addition, it a great way for me to learn about various vocations and also to meet new and interesting people. If you did not know about the Rotary Club, here is a good introduction. There are a number of Rotary clubs in Iceland but I am part of the only english speaking rotary club, it is called Reykjavik Rotary International. I wrote about getting lucky, I feel that I got lucky once I started attending Rotary meetings, because the club provides a safe environment to have an open mind and everyone in the club from different backgrounds do the same. It is easy to discuss, debate, learn and to serve. I have been a past President, Treasurer  and Secretary. We rotate the roles, no pun intended as we are a small club. Anyways, the reason I started writing this blog post was to refer to the Rotary’s 4 Way test, here it is:

Of the Things we think, say or do

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

It is a great guiding tool, it allows me to assess things in an objective way. I have written about Win-Win thinking, the 4 way test encapsulates that thinking. In order to answer the above 4 questions in everything we think, say or do, it is important to listen to signals, to others point of view and to have non-violent communication. It is easier to dish out advice but when you are in the middle of a tough situation and you know that you need to bring all your internal strength to do the right thing, tools and thinking like this enables you to expand the space between the stimulus and the response. Between every stimulus we receive and our response to that stimulus lies a space, in that space is the opportunity for us to grow as better human beings. The above thinking was made popular by the late Dr.Stephen Covey in his books “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and “The 8th Habit”.

I am by no means suggesting that I am an expert in the above, I struggle with it as much as any other man or women, however being aware of this thinking enables me to strive to get better at handling situations. Having that tough conversation. What methods or tools do you use?