It is such a cliché but so true and so effective in business. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what it is that makes people react or respond in a certain way? Maybe you do something at work, or for a client, or at home, and the reactions from the people around you are different than you anticipated.
Have you reacted to something in a way that later on you looked back and said ‘what the’?
Well I’ll give you a hint. It has a lot to do with the ‘truth’ but, before I give you the holy grail, let me explain what goes on for us at these times. Everything we do or say or react to is because of the meaning that we give it, the meaning that we put to whatever is happening at that moment or time. This meaning actually comes from our blueprint, the proximity of people around us and, most of all, the state you are in when things happen.
It is the meaning that we put to a situation or experience, or the STORY we make up (about whatever just happened TO US) that creates the emotion, reaction or response that 99 per cent of the time does not serve us or get the outcome we need.
What does the truth have to do with it?
Well, instead of putting a meaning and story to the things happening around you, and that things are happening TO you, why not stick to the facts and truth of the matter. For example, a client did not receive a delivery of a parcel on time. You could believe that the reason this happened is because the staff member was wanting to hurt you, or the business, and deliberately chose not to send the parcel.
If you stick to the truth or the facts of why the parcel was not delivered on time, rather than giving it meaning that stems from your own blueprint and your own stuff going on, it will allow you get to a solution so you can deal with the issue.
Call it tight. Stick to the facts and speak the truth about what happened, and it will allow you to deal with issues as and when they arise. Easier said than done . . . yes, I know. I go into my head many times a day, but new words like ‘fascinating’ and ‘interesting’ have allowed me to stop creating stories. Now I try to deal with issues head-on by being factual.
I challenge you to catch yourself next time you are giving a meaning or a story to something, use the words ‘fascinating’ and ‘interesting’ to pause, then deal with the issue at hand calmly and appropriately – like a real leader.
Paul Siderovski is managing director of SiDCOR Chartered Accountants