We all wish to avoid difficult, unpleasant, tense or conflict situations. When people around us make mistakes or let us down. When we don’t get what we want or get hurt in some manner. We usually react in a programmed, defensive, offended manner. Little do we realize that these exact situations provide best opportunities to build our character, relationships and grow.
Say your child breaks a glass or say an expensive camera. Or he bunks class 10 days in a row and roams town without anyone knowing. Or may be it an employee reporting to you who makes a big blunder that results in a big embarrassment with your client. These are all situations we typically get furious over – after all how can someone be so negligent – they should know better.
We first lose our temper – then justify it as reasonable – what we miss in all this is an opportunity to strengthen our relationship – anyways the camera is broken and the mistake is made.
So what if in these situations, we forgot about the mistake and focused on the person and how bad they already felt! What if we became empathetic and supportive. After all no one starts off their day thinking they want to screw up and when mistakes happen they are already feeling pretty bad about it.
These are all situations that have happened with me. In the case of the camera, I forgot the camera, and just patiently hugged my daughter. In the case of bunking boy (me), my father calmly just told me I should have told him my fear and just stayed calm. In case of the employee, I (their boss) simply handled the client and protected them from the wrath of our CEO and management and then told them how they can avoid the situation in the future and how they can help others have a better process.
In the end, in each case people remember how they feel. The loss in each case was more than made up by the strengthening of relationship and the lessons deeply learnt.
I leave you with a thought. When things breakdown you have a great opportunity to create new order. PremAnand.