Monday, March 7, 2011

Everybody Has "Stuff"

Everybody Has “Stuff”

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood…”
Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Habit 5

Another week has begun.  Your To Do list is lengthy, with few items marked off - 'completed'.  Things are weighing heavily on your mind…mine too.  We’re stressed with things at work, worried about our finances, and we’re praying for the health and safety of our loved ones.

Guess what…everybody else is in the same boat…everybody has “stuff”…Everybody has worries, stresses, and hang-ups. 

We all encounter “those” people in our daily routines that come across rude and stressed out.  It’s difficult to work with them.  We quickly become annoyed and frustrated with these people.  We often wonder “why is she always short with me?”  Or, “what is his problem?”  We shut down, turn them off, and we avoid further contact with these people…and we walk away in bad moods ourselves.

Any of these sound familiar?

The student whose bad attitude compromises the ever-important teacher/student connection…
The VP, Director, or boss who is always in a hurry and doesn’t listen…
Our friend that is always down in the dumps, sad, and in a bad mood…
The client that gives you a hard time and wants it his way or the highway…
The person on our team that quacks and complains about everything…

Quick thought…

Our standard reaction to these negative people is to become negative ourselves; we’re annoyed, frustrated, and frankly, quick to judge them.  Better would be to slow down for a quick second, meet them where they are, and seek to understand.  Take the mental/virtual OneMoreStep next time you find yourself on the receiving end of a rude comment or reaction.  Stop yourself from being frustrated with them.   Try asking how you can add value to their project, deliverable, homework, or even their life. 

Tell yourself that everybody has “stuff”.  Be the one person that takes five minutes out of your day to show them that you not only care, but that you also want to help.  Actions such as this could be the OneMoreStep that makes a real impact for someone in your life this week.

Maybe they’re just upset about a speeding ticket they got on the way into work.  They may have recently had a fight with their significant other…or even worse; maybe they just broke up with their girlfriend or boyfriend.  Maybe they’re going through a messy divorce.  That student with the bad attitude, what if they have a learning disability, which makes it difficult for them to focus in class?  That rude coworker or staff member may be worried to death about a sick family member, or even their own health. 

The bottom line is that we never know.  Think about how much stress you have in your own life.  You’re not alone.  Everybody has “stuff. 

So here’s what I think…

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY to go OneMoreStep for people…seek to understand what is bothering them. Take the quick five, ten minutes out of your routine.  Make the effort to add value to their situation. 

When is the last time somebody stopped what they were doing and put their full attention on you?  When is the last time you felt like someone cared more about solving your problems than his or her own?  Exactly…I had to think long and hard about it myself.  OneMoreSteps like that don’t come along very often, but when they truly makes an impact on people. 

So when you’ve had it with that negative person at work, at school, or at home…slow down.  Remember that everybody has “stuff”.  Chances are...they're probably hurting about something.  Meet them where they are.  Seek to understand their issues.  When you think you’ve done enough to understand their problems, go OneMoreStep and offer up your assistance, your shoulder, or your time to help them.  I bet you’ll make magic for someone at a time when they need it the most.

Have a great day.


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1 comment:

  1. Love this one! Sometimes something so easy to do can make the biggest impact on someone else! Keep it up, Tay! Love you!