Would you rather be right or happy?
Marcella, HR specialist for a food distribution company in Seattle, Washington, told session 7 of the Leadership Development Lab:
"For over 2 months, ever since my promotion, I had been experiencing a very discomforting lack of communication with one of my coworkers. She is supposed to provide me with the essential personnel information I need to successfully perform in my new position. She is the only source for this information, short of us taking what would be several hours a week to dig it out. We have had quite a few differences in opinion about how things had been handled in the past and what was the best way to execute going forward for our department's future success. I think she may feel that she, instead of me, should have been promoted when the position became available. She has made it clear in subtle and not so subtle ways that she doesn't feel I am qualified for the role. It finally got to the point that I asked my supervisor if she could sit in as a neutral third party on a meeting between me and this associate. After listening to the advice of my supervisor and reevaluating the long term importance of this relationship, I decided to make my relationship with this associate my Turbo 5X project. I decided to apply 5 times more enthusiasm (Commitment in Action) to changing my attitude toward and improving my relationship with this individual. I focused with five times the intention and positive determination. I was determined to make our working relationship functional. Since I made that decision, to my amazement, the communication between us is great. We talk frequently and the associate responds and provides me with the answers I need to every request I have made with few questions asked.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is when I change my outlook about a relationship, when I decide to take responsibility for making a relationship work, I can improve a bad, seemingly hopeless situation into something that is quite workable. The action I call you to take is put more positive energy into improving any not so great relationship in your world. The benefit you will gain is less stress at
work and in your personal life. You will be able to effectively communicate with the people you interact with on a regular basis."
One of the questions I often ask is "Would you rather be right or happy?" In this case, it's possible that Marcella had every reason to say, "I'm right," but "I'm right" wasn't working, wasn't solving her problem, wasn't improving her relationship, or gaining the cooperation she needed. By changing her focus to making the relationship work, by taking responsibility for making it work, an amazing, almost miraculous shift occurred. I challenge you to take a look at those relationships that may not being working to your full satisfaction and ask yourself, "If I were willing to give up being right, what might happen if I made a commitment, a decision, to make this relationship work, fully work?" Why not give it a try? You don't have to try it forever. Try it for three weeks and see what a difference you make.
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