Today I am writing my blog a half a day late. I meant to be on time, only sometimes things happen that no one can control. Earthquakes, tidal waves and even the generic band of thunderstorms, with hail and the occasional twister, are all things the average person cannot control. What happens is not what matters. What we do about uncontrollable change is what matters.
We often, in a time of dealing with things beyond anyone’s control, focus our wrath upon the person that relays the information rather than taking a moment to think clearly. I wonder if this is how the phrase about not killing the messenger came to be?
If anyone hasn’t figured it out yet, the person relaying bad news has no control or power over the situation and no stature within their corporation to do anything. Why? Because if they had any of that, they probably would send someone below them out to relay the message. Again, why? Because it’s probably a guarantee that many receivers will take the information poorly and take their wrath out on the messenger.
If you want to stand out, thank the messenger and let them know you know the problem was not their fault. You know that they were only relaying information. In return, you may find employees who are more receptive to assisting you and solving the problem. Granted, it’s their job to do so anyway; however, feelings of mutual appreciation and understanding seem to rank higher and better solve problems when everyone works as a team.
I was told last night that my flight back to Colorado could not happen because the plane could not leave Chicago, the first thing I did was thank the ground personnel. I assured them that I knew this was not their fault and we work together to ensure that I would be back home before noon today. The bad news was not a failure, it was a chance for everyone to work together and make something good happen. Everyone I spoke to and worked with was sharp, on point, and never gave up.
Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.