Did You Bring a Ladder or a Shovel?
Inevitably, we can find ourselves in sticky situations with co-workers, clients, vendors or customers. It could be an office communication, a behavioral issue, a contract deliverable or a simple sales transaction. These can be awkward or sensitive to navigate, especially if we were involved directly or indirectly with the situation itself. Getting to resolution isn’t always easy, but when it is all said and done, what approach did you choose to bring it to the next step? Did you bring a ladder or a shovel?
Some people have a great emotional need or compulsion to win or be right that may exceed their ability or capacity to be in the right. They usually have their shovel in hand and are digging away making sure they end up on top of the argument or situation. This inevitably provides the short term gratification, but also the long term damage. Instead of heading toward a mutually beneficial resolution and win – win long term, they have dug the hole deeper, increasing the gulf, which only makes the journey out a more difficult one in the future.
Other people carry a ladder in their arsenal. They have the ability to step back and seek the greater good. They extend themselves in the spirit of reconciliation and long term gain. They not only have the ability to climb up and out of a situation rung by rung, but have one arm free to reach out and pull the other person up and out with them. The result is a better outcome all around.
So, the next time you are faced with uncomfortable conversations or difficult situations that can lead to either a short term win–lose or a resolution, that in the long run, can have positive and long lasting consequences and affects, which tool will you bring along: a ladder or a shovel?