Let me preface this blog post by saying that most everything I find myself venting about (translated: whining about) now sounds like a first - world problem. But stick with me and call it as you see it.
I travel a good bit to the east coast for work. What that means is, as someone who lives in Arizona, I have to get up extremely early. As my former priest in the Episcopal Church used to say, "Nothing good happens between 1:00 and 4:00 in the morning." You got that right, Father! At the top of the list of "nothing good happens" is getting out of bed at 3:30 in the morning when our normally boundless bundles of energy (aka our 3 Labs) are openly snoring under the covers. But I love what I do (not the getting up before the Dunkin' Donuts guy even thinks about doughnuts, but the educational consulting), so I do it with a smile (maybe it resembles a grimace, but what would you know? No other sane person is up at that time of the morning to see it).
From Tucson, I typically have to "hop" through L.A., Denver, or Houston to get to the Northeast. Today was an L.A. kind of morning. I got to L.A. at 7:30 and my next flight to Baltimore was scheduled to leave at 9:00. "Scheduled to leave...." is the operative phrase. Well, technically, we did leave.....the gate.....to sit on the tarmac for one hour. (are you already shouting "This is a first world problem, Shelly, especially since you are sitting in first-class watching an episode of 'The Walking Dead'"?)
Okay, but here is the reason we sat on said tarmac for one hour.
Pilot: "Folks, this is your captain speaking from the flightdeck. We are going to pull over and park for a few minutes because we just received word that there is a line of thunderstorms in Baltimore passing through and they want us to wait a bit before taking off."
Hmmmmmm...... (thus, the name of the blog post).....last time I checked Googlemaps (and trust me, I do it all the time to find out where the nearest place is to my hotel that I can get a fountain diet coke), L.A. is across the country....literally five hours away....from Baltimore. Isn't there a chance that little line of storms might pass before we fly clear across the continental U.S??
But, as I sat there, incredulous, I thought to myself, "Shelly, you need to seek first to understand. They actually fly a bit more than you do. They may know a few things you do not about how air traffic may be affected if we take off now."
This whole notion of seeking first to understand is such a critical piece in communication. We might likely want to seek first to understand before jumping to conclusions in any communication scenario, lest we find ourselves overlooking a perfectly good reason for something.
Just for today, perhaps we should consider practicing "seeking first to understand". Now, I am going to go pack an umbrella for the thunderstorm that passed through an hour ago.