Why would we treat anyone else differently than we would treat ourselves? Should we demand more from someone else than we could do in the same circumstances? And even if we expected them to provide that extra service, are we requesting that service in a way that we would be willing to give it if the shoe were on the other foot?
We all believe that we are reasonable people. And the questions we asked for others or the demands we put upon them are fair to the situation. Yet sometimes, we need to ask ourselves, “How would I react if somebody asked me for information or to do something the way I just spoke to that person?”
We would all like to believe that we are even-tempered and caring about others. Unfortunately, sometimes, our own whole nature is not quite up to par. Please remember it’s not what you say that counts as much as what the other person heard you say. And most of the time, the words serve very little importance. The words themselves get skewed by tonal inflection and body language. When everything is stacked together, the words by themselves mean very little.
If you’re not getting your questions answered. If you feel like everyone is an idiot, or that no one will tell you the truth, you need to start by checking in the mirror. If the whole world seems to be against me, I have to take a look at the law of averages and begin by looking at what I am doing. Weighing the option of 7+ billion people in the world decided to have a pick-on-Mike day, or Mike having an off day? The odds just don’t stack up in my favor, and therefore, I need to assess and make the change.
We need to remember that people are fundamentally good. We want to help others. If others are in a stressful situation, we want to put them at ease. If they say, “I don’t know, you should ask the person in charge of that,” it usually means they are telling the truth. And they have given you the next step to help you find an answer.
In this day of specialization and more work being done by fewer people, we may not know, but we can get you to the person who does. And this is very good. I would rather know this and ask a second person, then have the first person who has no clue whatsoever, giving me an answer that they have just made up to keep me happy and quiet.
I know many workplaces of today seem busier and less personally connected than workplaces of the past. Yet, by being able to ask questions that lead you to the right people, and with use of your smartphone or tablet to help you learn a little more of what you are asking about, we all end up a little smarter. So, before our body language goes negative and the inflection gets surly, check the person in the mirror and make sure that person is on even footing.
Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.