Posts tagged Relationships
Posts tagged Relationships
Work Tip #82 - You Catch More Flies With Honey Than You Do With Vinegar
Once, when I was in a pretty challenging job, I had an assignment that required a client of mine to participate in a fairly new and somewhat buerocratic process. I had worked hard within my organization to commit to the process, learn it well, and navigate it successfully so I could continue to do the good work we did. The process was cumbersome, and it was easy to get annoyed with those who weren’t committed to their part. The harder I worked on my part, the easier everyone else’s seemed to be … and the more frustrated I became with them for not doing it.
Needless to say, my client was not doing his part and I was frustrated I couldn’t get him the support he required. I complained to my peers and superiors about the client, and we all offered solutions, some of which included not supporting him at all. That was definitely something I didn’t want to do; I wanted to do the right thing and provide the support. It was an important job after all. So I made the choice to travel to the client’s location and force the process through, whatever I had to do.
When I arrived my effort began with an “honest” conversation about how he and his organization wasn’t providing the correct documents for me to proceed. I explained the process and told him that it was necessary to do these things to move forward. It was a very arrogant move to make on my part, thinking I would just talk to the client in person and show him what he needed to do. This was about the point that I took a step back, began to reflect on my history with the client, and realize I was going about it all wrong.
My epiphony occurred one evening, when a couple of co-workers and I were bullshitting with the client at the end of the day. My co-workers hadn’t met him before and found him pretty interesting. He really was an older and interesting guy. He had done a lot. I saw him open up and start to tell them all these stories about what he had done in his career. I stayed quiet and just observed the change of character, and that’s when it hit me. I hadn’t made much effort at all to create a personal relationship with him. It was business all the time. I was so consumed by my own work, I forgot to schmooze a bit. I immediately invited him out for a couple of beers and within a couple of hours we were all relaxed and sharing our own war stories. He talked about young “college” kids whom he had interacted with in other jobs, which gave me some insight into how he may have viewed me (I was about 20 years younger than he was at the time). I shared stories about my past and told him some things he probably hadn’t realized, like the fact we both had long military careers, had both served in several wars, and both had sons.
In essense, I had become a likeable guy instead of some annoying “shit” making his job hard. Being consumed in my own process made me lose sight of what his process looked like. On a side note, this is why it is good sometimes to work in teams.
So this is kind of long … I should get to the point. The point is that you will always get more accomplished by appeasing people. It is easier sometimes to vent your frustration and assert your authority or guidance, especially if you feel it’s justified, but that seldom works. It feels good, because you feel justified and perhaps don’t feel others deserve to be appeased. However, the point is to get the job done and get it done well, regardless of what you think people deserve. You just waste time and reduce productivity trying to get people to behave as you think they should behave. And in the end of the day, you are probably wrong anyway. I was in this example. The guy wasn’t a bad guy. He just had a preconception of what kind of person I was, and wasn’t very motivated to do what I required of him. After all, he was busy too. I had to make it worth it for him, and becoming a likeable guy made it a little easier.
I had captured his cooperation, and I did it with honey when vinigar had failed.
This Week’s Guest Blogger - Grandpa Snyder
The first thing I should tell you about your grandfather is that when you are a kid, he is very fun to be around. Your grandfather has a way with kids. He’s good at entertaining them, listening to them, and is a magnificent teacher. He is one of the few people that will talk to you like an adult, even if you are just ten years old … and that is a great feeling. That said, he is much better with kids than he is adults.
When I became an adult, I began to have a hard time communicating with him and our relationship deteriorated. We didn’t talk for almost two years by the time I started this blog, and I resented him for that. Part of that resentment meant I started to pay more attention to his flaws, than I did his qualities.
However, one day a guy I worked with in Afghanistan named “Rick” (a guy a little like your grandfather) taught me an important lesson. Rick knew that your Grandpa Harry’s dad left when he was just 3-years-old, and that his mother died when he was just 14. Rick had also heard me tell stories of all the cool things my dad had done with me growing up. Rick told me that a father could only work with what he knows, and could only do his best to raise his children better than he was. In Rick’s opinion (based on what I told him), my dad had not done so bad, considering what he had been given and all he had given me.
Rick’s point struck me, because although I was thinking of all your grandfather’s flaws at the time, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind he had done better than his father. I was certain of that. He was always there when I needed him,and he taught me a lot. There is a stark difference that exist between his childhood and mine, not to mention the difference there will be between his and yours. Not bad for just two generations.
I think after my conversation with Rick I realized that while it’s okay for children to idolize their parents and think they are perfect, at some point we have to grow up and stop expecting them to be perfect. We have to consider what they had, what they were able to accomplish, and maybe even ask ourselves if we could have done better. I think you’ll find in just this week alone that Grandpa Harry didn’t do bad. And in many ways, the evidence expands well beyond the six days that follow.
That said, enjoy this week’s guest blogger … Grandpa Harry.
Finding the Right Person, by Ananda Rochita
I don’t know what you’ll be like when you read this or if this still applies in your life, but don’t try to find the perfect person but someone who would be perfect for you. For years my mother told me to stop going for the wrong guys, but I never really knew what that meant. It’s natural to be attracted to a person first and go from there. I also had a “type” of guys I went for that my father wasn’t too fond of. Being young is such a great time to date and meet new people, but never try to find this ideal person to be with. I don’t believe there is such a thing. “Ideal” for one person is different from the other. Be with someone who makes you want to be a better person and strive to work harder in life.
The saying that looks fade away is true. My aunt got married young, around 20, to what my mom describe as one of the most handsome men she’s ever seen at the time. A couple of years my aunt and him divorced. During my cousin’s wedding a couple of years ago, 34 years after they got married, he came with his new wife and my aunt came with my uncle (thousands of people go to Indonesian weddings so it wasn’t too awkward). My aunt’s ex husband was unrecognizable. His skin was darker, his teeth were ruined from decades of smoking, and he wasn’t the fit and buff man my mom called “attractive.” Naturally with time looks fade and even my mom didn’t even know who he was until he introduced himself.
When you get older, you’ll want to be with that person who you can talk to after a long hard day at work, a good parent, and love unconditionally. Be with the person who makes you not only feel special but also a better you.
Communicate!, by Barb
Some guys have a hard time talking, don’t be one of those guys! If you are 10 and someone bullies you dot be afraid to tell someone. When you are 17 and you want to taste beer talk to your parents and try it with them before doing it somewhere else and driving! When you are 27 and meet the love of your life talk to her. Tell her how your day was, tell her how you feel when she makes you breakfast or ask her how she pictures the two of you when you grow up. Talking to your parents, [or] your spouse will help you in everyday life because you won’t keep everything bottled up inside and blow up. Believe me I know….I’m learning that the lack of communication in my marriage has put a great strain on us, but we are working on telling each other things and it will be ok!
Live Life, by Barb
When you are old enough tell mom and dad to take you on one vacation a year, maybe a cruise somewhere or a road trip. Enjoy the beauty of everything around you! Breath when you need to and don’t take things so seriously. Cherish everyone in your life as if it’s the last time you will see them. Tell mom and dad you love them. Believe in yourself! You can do and be anything you want to be! You can do it!
A Way to Look at Marraige, Finding the Right Person
I have no advice for how to find the right person, or make a perfect marraige. But I can definitely give you a way to look at marriage, and perhaps better recognizer the right person when you meet her.
There’s a lot of talk about finding the right person, as if there’s only one. But what if there’s more than one person? What if there are many people with whom you could enjoy a long and lasting life? I think there are.
It’s not that I don’t believe in romance or soul-mates. I just think it’s something that is developed, rather than discovered. And I think it’s this way of looking at finding the right person that helps you succeed at it.
From what I have learned and experienced, finding the right person has more to do with commitment than it does luck. I think your mother and I are a perfect example of that. I knew when I met her she was an amazing person. At the time there were probably other women in the world I would have thought were amazing as well, but your mother was the most impressive woman I had ever met. So I made sure not to let her go.
What developed afterwards was a one-of-a-kind relationship, but one we built together through years of commitment. Ups and downs ensued, but our commitment never wavered. Today your mother is the love of my life, the only that could ever exist. Get it?
Your mother and I could separate and neither one of us would ever find a person to replace the other, even though we may find other amazing people and even develop lasting relationships. That’s because it took years of unique experiences to make our relationship the unique relationship it is today.
I know this idea seems to lack romance, but I promise you it doesn’t. Our story is very romantic. It just doesn’t fit the stereotypical version of love and marriage. I’m not convinced that even exist.
So if you haven’t found the girl yet, stop looking. Just look for the best girl you think you’ll ever meet, someone who respects you and is committed to you. I have no doubt that when you find that person, she will quickly become the one.
Bosnia - Part 1
This is Sarajevo, Bosnia Charlie … as I saw it in 2001 and 2002.
When I lived there, the city was completely war torn. Buildings were demolished, the streets and houses were pot-marked from the years of bombing, and the country faced significant economic and political challenges. Most people thought it was the worst assignment I could have ever received. They couldn’t have been more wrong.
Living in Sarajevo was one of the greatest times of my life. I made great friends, learned the history and culture, and spoke the language well enough to even occasionally pass for a local. Cevapi was my favorite meal, and “Jesta mai brate,” (“What’s up brother?) rolled off my tongue like a true Sarajevan. (“Sta ima” is proper serbo-croatian, but I lived in Sarajevo where “jesta mai” was a slang way of saying “sta ima.” Kind of like pig-latin)
You see, I came into Bosnia free of bias, due entirely to my ignorance. I was genuinely interested in getting to know both the country and the people, and as a result I was rewarded with the most genuine experiences and relationships of my life.
I’ve been to over 30 countries since, Charlie, and I never experienced a place like Sarajevo again. Perhaps it is because Sarajevo really is the greatest place on Earth, but it is more likely that I was just willing to take in everything without preconceptions.
It is a magnificent thing to be young and naive. While you are prone to make a lot of mistakes, you are also incredibly trusting and accepting.
I don’t know if that’s a better recipe for living life than the (sometimes skeptical) one I am living now, but I do know this: There should be at least one time in your life that you completely absorb an experience like the one I had in Sarajevo, Charlie. Just go somewhere new and take in everything without passing judgement. Be interested, be sociable, explore.
Hopefully you too will find your Sarajevo, and will be a better man for having found it.
Your mother may not agree with this one, so just don’t tell her I told you this.
Planning for your future is one of the most fruitless efforts you can engage in. Ask yourself this: What do you want your life to be?
If you think you know the answer to that now, by all means, go ahead and start planning.
The problem is you probably don’t know, and even if you do … it will change. In fact, it’s always changing. I don’t know how old you are now as you read this, but ask yourself another question: Are you happy with where you are now?
If you are (and I hope you are), imagine telling yourself five years earlier where you’d end up. Would that person be surprised? Probably yes, right? So how could he have possibly planned to get you to that happy place you are today?
I think you could make almost any person in the world ask themselves those questions, and they’d all say they had no idea they’d be where they are today five years ago. It’s impossible. We are horrible at predicting futures, especially our own. So why do we waste so much time worrying about the decisions we make today?
Get rid of ideas of what you should be in the future, Charlie. Do what you want today. Do great things today. Do fun things today.
I promise you, son, you will not regret it. You will definitely end up in some crazy place you never imagined. You will probably not become all the ideas you had in your youth, but you will be happy.
There’s not much you can do about the future, no matter how much you plan. But you can enjoy today, and you can make the most of it. Add the days up, and they are guaranteed to amount to an enjoyable life, full of wonderful experiences and quality relationships.