I traveled with a couple of colleagues on a recent business trip. It was interesting to observe the behavior of one of the folks on the journey. When you spend a week together things become exposed. This person would walk through doors first without remembering we were behind him, and throw his luggage first in the trunk without concern where we put ours. This person also treated wait staff rudely in restaurants. I had never traveled extensively with this person before and was a little surprised (in fact, I need to give him this feedback). I believe that this person behaves this way, not because he is intentionally disrespectful, but because he lives in his head. Without noticing, he just doesn’t think about the people around him.
Observe people and the extent they are thoughtful and aware of people around them. That’s why some hiring managers insist on having a meal with a top prospect. How they treat the servers in a restaurant will tell you more than what they say about respecting people.
Attack the Issue, Not each Other! What would happen if Congress listened with understanding? When we talk about Respect, one definition of the word is “to look again”. What if Congress “looked again”? I’m not interested in making a political statement. But what if we were to look at our Health Care issues as a system and set of processes as a problem? What if we attacked the processes, issues, situation, and not each other? What if we looked again? …all sides?
What if we were abundant thinking? What if we outlined a desired future state of health care and financial implications with a sense of possibilities and opportunity; rather than win lose?
Ok, so there are different philosophical and economic tenants. So what if we outlined them honestly, to the best of our ability versus attacking others? Our obligation would be to present our best possible viewpoint? What’s the worst that could happen? Our collective bipartisan wisdom might surprise us?
Congress frankly needs a strong unrelenting dose of the CT. Let’s attack the issue… not each other. Let’s listen with all of our attention and might. Let’s ask what and how we might make a difference. Let’s believe we have more than enough resources to make a difference. Let’s respect all viewpoints!
Let’s have Character!
I had a meeting with my executive team the other day. At the end of the meeting one of the members suggested someone write up the notes from the meeting. I quickly suggested that he ought to do so.
As the meeting adjourned, this individual told me he was uncomfortable with my reaction to his recommendation that someone take notes. And to be honest, I did make the suggestion that he do the notes with a bit of an attitude. I was tired and worn down after a very difficult meeting. But that was no excuse for being disrespectful. I thanked this person for pointing out my unconstructive behavior, and I apologized. I also noted that he might have volunteered to take the notes instead of throwing it out for “They” to do it. He acknowledged that and apologized for not being self-accountable.
We both learned a little about respect and self-accountability. The lessons never end regarding the Character Triangle.
I guarantee you that in your career S#*& will happen. You will run into the most difficult of challenges. This is when the Character Triangle (CT) will be most challenged. It will be so seductive to blame, feel victimized, become fearful, lash out, and/or avoid. At worse, you’ll do all of the above. We are not perfect beings and sometimes the forces of crap become a tsunami. It can feel overwhelming. This is when Character is most determined; how we react to adverse circumstances.
If we have a crummy day or time, it’s important to dust ourselves off and reconnect with the values of the CT. Focus on what we can do the next minute, hour, day, month. What’s next is most important.
“A year from now, you may wish you had started today.” -Karen Lamb