Friday, November 27, 2009

Would you like fries with that?

Sometimes I am taken aback by the number of times we carelessly say and do things that affect others. I call it a drive by slam. This takes on many forms: a terse comment; a turned back; a closed door; an insenstive email that leaves a footprint.

In this world of instant communication, instant coffee, instant results, instant food and instant gratification, I see instant hurt feelings, instant resentments, and instant dissatisfaction every day.

And it's so easy, because in this day of instant whatever, we treat each other like they are commodities to us. Our possessions. Something we can buy, use or disregard.
We treat people like they are fast food.

Give me what I want, when I want it, and if you don't, there will be repercussions.

This is 1959 thinking and I am tired of this, and it makes me tired. I just want to step off the world and get away this this instant stupidity that I witness.

So, if anyone actually reads this stuff, here's what I would challenge you to do if you see yourself engaging in this, or being engaged.

1. As a former CEO of mine used to say, take the high road. Do not lower yourself by reciprocating in a negative way. Once you do that, the offender's actions are null and void, and your negative actions are now the issue.

2. Confront the behavior with the person. The "Crucial Conversations" method works well. Have a stated objective or a problem to solve and do not detract from it. Meet the person face to face and state your case. Do not become defensive. And stay with it until your objective has been accomplished.

3. Do not let others make you feel bad. When people spray negativity, nastiness, or disrespectful behavior, you do not have to accept it. Let it go. Do not accept it. Disregard their behavior. Acceptance constitutes acceptance. Do not be a victim. Do not give power to the negative behavior.

4. Be nice to someone and all the above would be unnecessary to say. Pick up the phone. Have a personal conversation. Treat people with respect. Treat them as you would like to be treated.

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