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How Can I Tick You Off or Disappoint You Today?

Photo By Don Van Dyke

Photo By Don Van Dyke

Back in the days when I managed multi-million dollar business applications, there were days that it seemed like I, as a manager, and my team of developers could do no right.  Anyone who deals with customers experiences days like these, and our goal is to have these days be few and far between.

Some days, though, we’d start out in that mode.  I’d get a hostile or frustrated phone call from my management counterpart on the business team, and off to the raced we’d go.  Defending one’s position is tiresome, yes?  And, we can agree, not all that productive.

It comes back to how we create memories and the stories we tell ourselves.  Distill, Distort and Generalize is how this works.  My counterparts’ distortion was that there was some bad intention involved (and that she didn’t contribute to the situation).  It’s a lot easier to be angry when you think folks aren’t doing their best work.

Here was the magic statement (said with lots of love and smile) that made her more aware:  “You know, Deena, we don’t wake up in the morning and ask ourselves how we can make this initiative fail today.”

Most people don’t wake up in the morning and ask how they can tick us off or disappoint us today.

And yet, we sort of think they do, don’t we?

Here’s the clue.  Anytime you catch yourself thinking a statement that contains the phrase “should know better,” you’re probably in that mode.  Even if they should know better.

I challenge you to be more aware of your stories and be on the lookout for when you’ve labeled an intention on someone else.  Think about how changing that might impact your relationships.

Be Your Best You Today,


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