It’s human nature to make a split decision, a split judgement call when it comes to people. It doesn’t matter who they are: the people we work with, our family, the guy in the car next to you that just cut you off. We are trained to determine the status and danger level of a person within seconds. This is something I’ve been consciously working on over the last few weeks because I realized I have a tendency to not only make judgements quickly, but to believe the story I tell myself just as quickly.
While dealing with the transaction for our new home, we’ve had a ton of pressing, need-to-respond now situations and it’s been incredibly frustrating having to make life affecting decisions on a dime. I’ve found myself blaming all parties involved, not understanding how people who do this every day aren’t able to keep up with simple communication. I work full time and I am not always able to respond immediately. Plus I still have issues with ego where I can’t stand having to jump at someone else’s beck and call. I like to have time to review things and to be able to understand what I’m doing. I don’t like being put on the spot when I don’t have the information I need to make a clear decision.
It took me a while to understand that this isn’t about them withholding information or not doing their jobs. It’s that they do this so often that it isn’t a big deal to them. They handle multiple transactions at once and are familiar with the real estate world so they just go about their routine. They aren’t trained to hand hold everyone through every step—especially people like me who have limited time as it is. We are on different schedules. I know at the end of the day it will all turn out, I just need to realize they aren’t doing this maliciously.
I wrote about being put on the spot at work the other day and how uncomfortable I was with that. I also mentioned my concerns that my boss was trying to set me up. I’ve taken some time to chew on that as well and I spoke with her. She is incredibly overwhelmed because she is dealing with two budgets, interim managing two additional departments, and a merger. She wasn’t trying to make me look bad, she was trying to get some assistance. Admittedly she could have gone about it better, but she was demonstrating trust in me, not sabotage. Again, I let my ego get in the way and was more concerned that I looked like a fool than I was about her needs. Once we spoke about what was going on in her world, it all became clear and I immediately offered her assistance.
Another circumstance at work surrounds the transition of one of my teams. There was a lot of miscommunication between the team they are moving to and myself and it resulted in a pretty awful situation for my staff. I initially thought it was calculated until we sat down and talked. It turns out the other manager I’m working with didn’t have any advanced notice either. All we had to do was sit down and discuss—there was no ulterior motive.
Our initial interpretations aren’t always right. Yes, we need to rely on our gut, but not when it comes to a situation where people we know or interact with regularly aren’t behaving normally. More often than not that is a sign that they need help and don’t know how to ask rather than them being calculated. And for those who don’t know how to ask for help it is even more challenging because you have to get them to admit they need help before you can do anything about it. So, I’ve learned on the most practical level to use the pause. Don’t automatically assume the worst in people. I’ve been on the receiving end of that—I wrote about my siblings in my most recent Sunday Gratitude post—and it sucks. I don’t want to cause that pain for someone else. Especially when we have had a good relationship. When we feel like our ego is being challenged, that is when we need to pause and see what is off. Communicate, even if there hasn’t been good communication. It can make all the difference.