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Consideration for Others: The Underrated Character Trait

Keep courtesy and consideration of others foremost in your mind, at home and away.

This favorite quote of Coach Wooden’s was a reminder for his players to treat the fans they encountered on the road with the same courtesy and consideration they gave to their fans at home.

One definition of consideration is: thoughtfulness for other people.

The idea of consideration for others was the central theme of Coach Wooden’s life. Two of Coach’s life heroes were Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa. When asked why, Coach replied simply, “Because of their consideration for others.”

Coach was once asked: “When you look back on your life, how would you really like to be remembered?” He replied, “I would like to be remembered as a normal person who was considerate of others. That would be enough for me.”

Coach did not view being considerate of others as a chore or a sacrifice. In his book with Steve Jamison, Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court, Coach expanded on this idea:

“Being polite and courteous isn’t paying a price any more than smiling or being happy is paying a price. You get more than you give when you are polite and courteous. People like to help, to be polite, to be considerate. I believe it’s basic human nature. And it’s a funny thing: when you start displaying courtesy, politeness, and consideration, people start displaying them right back.”

We can apply this simple idea as a reminder to treat our families with the same cheerful attitude we often treat our coworkers with, even after a long day at work. Some folks create a structured transition between leaving work and arriving home to assure that when they open the front door at home, they do it with a happy face.

Nell Wooden said that when her husband John came home from work, she could not tell from his demeanor whether practice that day had been good or bad.


Photo by @crystalmariesing/Twenty20

Craig Impelman
As Coach Wooden’s grandson-in-law, Craig Impelman had the opportunity to learn Coach’s teachings firsthand and wrote about those lessons for his site, www.woodenswisdom.com. He is a motivational speaker and the author of Wooden’s Wisdom, a weekly “e-coaching module” that is distributed to companies nationally.