Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wounded Animals

I don't know how it works for everyone else, but when God has a lesson he wants me to learn, I see the same principle play out day after day after day until I inform him that I got his message. Then I have to deal with the message and implement it in my own life.

In the last few episodes of BIG LOVE (one of my favorite HBO shows...), Sissy Spacek played a powerful woman with a vindictive agenda. The main character challenged her, and we saw her strike out against those who got in her way. We also saw her alone at night with tears as she regretted the woman she had become.

Two weeks ago I observed an altercation between a hurting teenage heart and a hurting mother's heart.

Last week I found myself in a situation where I caused dear friends pain due to my self-absorbed behavior.

And yesterday, my sweet baby Tycoon somehow opened a decades-old painted shut window and spent the afternoon in the backyard...we came home to a bloodied mess and a somewhat severe puncture wound. We rushed to the vet yesterday upon finding him, and the wound has been treated and should be healing soon.

A blurry photo of the cleaned wound is posted here...snapped just before the blood came gushing out again.

However, as of 7:35 am this morning, it hasn't stopped bleeding.

"Okay, God, I get it!"

Wounds don't stop bleeding until they start to heal. If we delay the healing process, we are setting ourselves up for a constant stream of blood and tears.

What on earth does this have to do with me? you might be asking.

The majority of people in our society are one small wound away from losing it. We are all damaged. It's what happens when everyone acts selfishly, forgetting about the other souls out there impacted by our actions.

I recently had a sweet conversation with a bookstore manager. She started the conversation very upset. As we chatted, we got to know one another and she was able to see more than the disappointment an author's behavior had caused.

This really pointed out to me how our sometimes selfish behaviors in business can hurt people in ways we don't usually see. I hope you feel some emotional tug on your heart because we've all been there.

How can we keep from turning into Sissy Spacek's character, leaving wounds everywhere we go?

1) Drop the pretense. Be yourself! No one appreciates someone who can't be genuine.

2) Genuinely care about others. When you are in an exchange with someone, whether verbal or written, keep in mind that you are not the most important thing to them. [shocker! I know!] Once we can get past our own feelings of self-importance, we can see what others really need. The best contacts usually come from a chance encounter where one individual gave someone else a truly compassionate and caring ear. When you genuinely care, you make someone feel special. They know if you are being genuine or if you are just "playing the game." Guess what? It matters to them. If you care about them, they will eventually care about you too.

3) Don't get sidetracked. It's easy to be sidetracked, taking on additional causes and challenges. Learn to say no to the things that you cannot give 100% to. You burn less bridges if you are upfront and honest than if you try to juggle it all and end up dropping the ball. Believe me, I've been there and done that. It's embarrassing, hurts your reputation, and really drives your guilt-o-meter up a few notches.

4) Keep your tone in check. One small "ahem" or roll of the eyes can instantly put someone on edge. Anyone who has watched a teenager and a parent fight knows that once someone is on the defensive, all hope for reconciliation is lost. You might want to wring someone's neck, but the only effect that will have is personal gratification. When you walk away, the issue will be left unresolved AND the person incapable of fixing it. This is a great wound extender too....if someone is healing, don't tear open the wound again.

I'd like to challenge you today to apply these same principles and concepts to your business. Regardless of why you are reading my blog, you are looking for ways to improve your professional and personal relationships.

Wounds are no one's friend, and relationships truly can exist without them.

Question: How do YOU keep wounds from occurring?

No comments:

Post a Comment