Seek first to understand.....
At the airport this morning, I checked in and waited for the representative to give me a tag for my luggage. I turned around and a customer waiting for the next representative looked at me and said, "Ma'am, the line starts back here." I smiled and said, "Oh thanks, but I've already checked in. Just waiting for a bag tag. Thanks, though." He rolled his eyes and said, "I'm just saying----the line starts back here." Hmmmm.....ignore him or try to make a point? Dilemma #1. The representative pulled my bag tag off the computer, tagged my bag, and said, "Thank you, ma'am, you're good to go," then looked at the man trying to take care of my business and said, "Sir, you need to come over here first." I decided to take the high road and said politely to the man, "I hope you have a nice day" to which he replied in an extremely ugly voice,
"You are just a little person."
Well, now, that is absolutely true----at 5'3", I am not super-model material (as if the height issue was the only thing keeping me back from that career path!) by any stretch, but really?
I truly had to think about the fact that I had just taught two days of workshops on communicating ---- thinking about what we say before we say it, etc. --- because every ounce of my being wanted to say something hurtful.
It only took a minute of walking away from him to realize that he was frustrated and embarrassed by finding out he had assumed incorrectly and he couldn't think of anything else to save face besides something derogatory. just like kids in schools who get "caught" and have to save face, we will often lash out (even if it doesn't make sense) just to avoid having to eat crow. I understand that; I'm certain I've done it myself.
But the next step is the doozy: I have to let it go!! He was rude, and his behavior was unacceptable. BUT....what am I going to gain by stewing about it the rest of the day? Not a thing! Instead, I made my way to the nearest fountain diet coke, got seated and the gate, prayed for him, and began reading my book.
I hope his day gets better. Mine will.....if I just let go of the little stuff.
Just for today.....take a moment to think about not making assumptions about people or situations and take things one day at a time....maybe even one
As I started a recent training, a teacher at an incredibly large school district in the Northeast remarked that change was really hard, especially when it affected teacher pay. He also went on to say that parents needed to be held accountable for their children and asked why should he (the teacher) be evaluated when the parents weren't being evaluated. I thanked him for his comment and said, "Today we are focusing on what we can do to improve teaching and student learning, but maybe we should come up with a book idea or presentation idea for how to help parents with parenting. Until then, I am so appreciative of your diligence in your profession." We spent the day learning and growing together, professionally. At days' end, he came to me (and the other folks with whom I co-presented) and said, "Change can really stink, but I am not as intimidated or worried anymore."
Transformation from the beginning of the day? Yes!
I am so thankful to be able to work in a field in which professionals are willing to grow and develop, despite the fact that there will always be factors outside of our control. When we can focus our energy on that which we can control and let go of the things we cannot, our burden seems to be lighter.
Just for today, let's try to focus on one thing we can control and trust the process that other things we can't control wi
I went to get a pedicure today before leaving for a LONG business trip this Friday. Aside from the single yelp I exclaimed when the girl clipped my toe (not nail, toe) and the girl asking me if the water was too hot ("not possible", was my reply), we said not a word. She was engrossed (maybe I should say "busy") with my toes; I was engrossed in email and Facebook. But non-verbal communication worked great---she moved my feet up and down to tell me to put one or both in the warm tub of water. I twitched my foot to tell her it tickled when she rubbed the soles. We may not have spoken much but we communicated just fine, thank you.
Sometimes, it is nice, and even more peaceful, to not have to "fill" time with words.
Just for today, consider taking a moment (or two, or 15) to be still and perhaps be silent. I
Why not say "thank you"?
I just returned from a business trip. I stayed two nights at a hotel in which I earn points. As I approached the desk, they greeted me warmly. In my room was an extra bottle of water (not the $5 kind----this was free). With my room key was an extra lagniappe (a card for a free drink or appetizer in their restaurant). On my floor was the concierge level, complete with a delicious healthy breakfast in the morning and an evening appetizer/happy hour in the evening.
The next morning, on the way out the door, we asked if we could have a stack of copy paper for an activity we would be doing with our participants. "Is this enough or do you need more?" the front desk gal asked as she held up a stack of paper?
Naturally, we thanked them each time.
On the way out the door, yesterday morning, I spent a bit of time at the front desk, though. I wanted to tell them that collectively, all the people we had encountered had ensured my stay was above adequate. They were so grateful to hear the compliments. Despite the fact that they likely know they give great customer service, they were still giddy with hearing the praise.
What does that tell me? We all want to be recognized for our efforts, despite the fact that we would continue to do the right thing without any accolades.
Why not, just for today, take a moment to thank someone at the gas station, grocery store, restaurant? It may just make their day!!