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Friday / July 19.
HomemilastwordWould it be OK if…?

Would it be OK if…?

I’ve been carrying a business card in my pocket for the past couple of weeks.

It’s getting weathered and worn. It’s not actually a business card, rather a Jiminy Cricket sticker my daughter had in her bag.

I was driving her to school and was thinking about how we react and respond to people. Thinking about how people react to us when we ask something of them. I was challenged by the impact of the way we ask and the words we use.

I asked her to write this down: “Would it be ok if…?” With no paper available, she jotted my note on the back of the Jiminy Cricket sticker.

By the time you finally get the person you’re angry at, you’re ready to explode…

I was thinking about how we ask staff to make changes to something that they may be totally vibed about but as the owner/manager may need to be tweaked or completely reworked. In particular I was thinking about our office renovation. I wasn’t going to make it back in time to provide my input so needed to provide my input after everything was done.

Way back when if I wasn’t happy with something, I’d ride in on a wave of my own opinion ready to dump on someone. Wasn’t concerned about the carnage, just the result.

Now I’d like to think I’m more long-term, relationship and process focussed. Working from this perspective the result takes care of itself. If I’m beaten up about an issue, instead of crash tackling the situation, I try to give it space and room to breathe.

You know what it’s like… you get worked up about something you’ve heard or read and start writing an email in response or – worse still – you call them to have a go. But you can’t get hold of them so instead of calming down and cooling your heels, you step it up a level.

Frustrated that you can’t speak to them, you keep calling. By the time you finally get the person you’re angry at, you’re ready to explode and your perspective has become somewhat askew. You fire off a series of barbs but the person at the other end of the line, if they’re not confused and bewildered, is cracking up.

When I walked back into the office as much as I wanted to blurt out “We need to move this and change that”, I took a moment and remembered the card I had in my pocket.

I looked at all the work that had gone into the renovation. There were things I wanted to change but I looked at the amazingness in the work that had been done. I looked at how excited everyone was. I don’t think I even got around to asking “Would it be ok… if?” I was just so rapt about how happy everyone was and the lift the renovation gave to everyone. Me wanting to make a tweak to anything would take away from the joy our renovation brought and why would I need to do it.

Jiminy Cricket summed it up best when he said “always let your
conscience be your guide”.

Maybe I was meant to consider the words of Jiminy Cricket more than
my own.