The better I know you, the more I like you!
Dewey, a supervisor of delivery systems at a dental equipment manufacturing company, told Session 6 of the Leadership Development LAB (LDL):
“When I was working in Bldg. #7, I had a real problem with the programmer from Bldg. #1. I didn’t like his programs. I didn’t like his attitude, and I didn’t like his smart aleck remarks every time I tried to tell him something. I didn’t like him! A few months ago, I was transferred to Bldg. #1. Now I have contact with this guy every day! So in Session #3 of the LDL when we were asked to pick a ‘pearl,’ a person who I wanted and needed to improve my relationship with, it wasn’t hard to decide. I knew in a flash where I wanted to see improvement in an important relationship.
“The process of picking a ‘pearl’ led me to starting some overdue self-analysis. I realized, when I thought about it, that I needed to stop criticizing all of his programs. I had to stop condemning all of his actions, and I had to stop complaining about him at every turn. (Leadership Principle #3 - Don’t Criticize, Condemn or Complain) The next step for me was identifying the actions needed to take to improve our relationship.
“I decided to honestly try to see things from his point of view. (Leadership Principle #5 - See their Point of View) As I thought about it, I had to admit that his programs weren’t that bad. They were just different than the ones I was accustomed to. His actions were really reactions because of his insecurities, and his insecurity lead to him taking my comments as personal attacks.
“When you Blow It, Show It (Leadership Principle #8). He was in my office last night, and I saw it as the perfect opportunity. I told him how I’d felt and what I’d thought of him. Then I admitted that I’d been wrong. I told him that he wrote good programs. He
did have good ideas, and he was doing a good job. When he left my office, we were both feeling a lot better about each other, and ourselves.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is that when I feel an irritation like a grain of sand growing, I need to step back and do some healthy self-analysis. Most of the time it will probably be more of a problem with me than with the other person.
“The action I call you to take is when you realize you’ve got an irritation like a grain of sand growing, do some healthy self-analysis and ask yourself, ‘What part have I played in this.’ After identifying any part you may have played in the breakdown of your relationship, do your part to create the relationship you want.
“The benefit you will gain is you will have fewer irritations to begin with, and the frictions that do surface will be resolved more quickly. Your life will be a strand of pearls.”
The Southwest Washington Contractor’s Association is sponsoring the first ever open enrollment Leadership Development Lab (LDL) in Clark County! For more info, call us at (503) 625-1867.
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