June 18, 2013
On a Friday morning my insurance person said to me: “I’ll get back to you later today with the information, or Monday at the latest”. The next Wednesday I emailed him with a gentle nudge, deciding the clever, passive aggressive comment that occurred to me wouldn’t serve either of us.
Turned out he had to do lots more digging than he planned to get the information I wanted. No Machiavellian plot there. It simply didn’t occur to him to call and let me know that. He was feeling good about all the effort he was expending to get me a thorough answer. If I’d have over-reacted to his lack of prompt response I’d have set myself up for some really crappy future service. And I’d also have killed any pleasure he was experiencing from a job well done. So I’d have compounded his mindLESSness with my own!
My point is simply that if he’d been mindful of the words he casually threw out, which then became etched in stone in my mind, he’d have either 1) called me to let me know it would take a bit longer, or 2) caught himself as the words were coming out of his mouth. In either case he’d have given me a more realistic statement of how/when he’d get back to me.
So I’m watching myself, both in person and in emails and texting, to see how cash register honest I am about what comes out of my mouth. I’m discovering that I’m often ‘that person’. The one who mindLESSly says, “I’ll get back to you” or “more later” and then never thinks of it again because I didn’t take myself seriously, mindfully.
Do you have any examples of your own mindLESSness pet peeves? Or, like me, are you noticing that you’re sometimes ‘that person’?
Brilliant. As a priest I’m not overstating in saying that folks take my words as “gospel,” so I must be very MindFULL all the time!
wow, you’re right – there’s a sort of invisible, inherent power in some roles/titles that adds to the importance of being mindful about what’s said out loud. Robyn
I do this sometimes. My intention is that at the time I want to give the best help to someone that I can. This desire can sometimes overrule my logical side that would otherwise give a better estimate. Whenever I am going to do something for someone I feel this pressure to do it as fast as possible. I need to learn to sit with that anxiety and take a breath before promising a timeframe. Thanks for bringing this up. It’s an important point, and it makes people form bad opinions of me.
Isn’t that crazy – it only happens out of the goodness of your heart!:) Slowing down makes complete sense. Robyn
Not always the case for you because you casually threw out on our first airplane trip that we should keep in touch. And, guess what, you did! It totally caught me off guard because I’m so used to people not following through that I thought it was the usual casual comment, when in fact to you it wasn’t. And, I’m so glad that is wasn’t because I’ve really value our friendship. You are a fascinating person, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you! Hope we can continue as the years go on …
Aaahhh, what a lovely way to start my day.
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