For those of you preparing for the holidays, ‘Humble Pie is an appropriate title for this post.
The challenge of this week was to be the first to eat crow. The first to say you’re sorry in a contentious situation.
The holidays have a strange ability to bring out the best and worst in us.
There’s the joy of putting up the tree and the teeth gritting as your spouse or significant other tells you for the 30th time that the tree isn’t straight while you risk your life on the home-office swivel chair.
You burn the pumpkin pie.
You snap at your mother-in-law.
You accidentally run over the family cat.
There’s a reason it all accumulates in a season where we make resolutions to be better for the next 365 days.
I want to give you two steps. Enough to fit on a sticky note and enough to insure that your New Years resolutions don’t begin with: “make amends to…”
Here are the steps:
1. Recognize your triggers
2. 60 minutes to sorry
First: Recognize your Triggers.
If you know you’re going to snap at a team member, relative, or in a certain situation regardless of your company… plan for it!
Your in-laws will be here all week? Plan before hand with your spouse to be the one who takes the dog on walks, goes for grocery runs and does the dishes.
Those are all times where you can decompress alone before the bottle gets shaken too much.
Do you have one team member at work that has about 40 “make you snap” triggers that seem tailor made just for you?
Write them down. Find out what you can do to prepare for it. Have your mental tool box ready to go. Such as
“When Jonathon micro manages me like this, I can remember to nod instead of speak and reward myself with a long walk at my break.”
“When Kristen chews her food that way at our business lunch I can focus on the voice of the person talking next to me and be grateful Kristen and I are not the last two people alive on the planet.”
I say this with humor, because if I don’t have that humor to accompany those daily triggers, I go crazy.
Step two: 60 Minutes to Sorry.
If you’re like me and every human, you’ll slip up. No matter how hard you try, sometimes the bottle doesn’t have time to fizz out and you snap.
However, few circumstances are beyond repair. But anything that is broken and stays broken for longer than necessary, becomes harder to fix. When feelings are involved it becomes a task of misery to fix.
So no matter who threw the first punch, sixty minutes is what you have to make that sincere apology. To eat crow.
Mind you, some situations might require a bit more time. 69 minutes won’t cover you if you stab your brother-in-law with the carving fork….Some situations need New Year’s resolutions.
But for anything less, you have 60 minutes.
If you follow these tools as a human being, in the realms of both professional and personal leadership, you will see significant progress.
A fine-tuned machine of team work is oiled by a grudge free environment.
You start and they will follow.
Tis the season to know your triggers. Plan accordingly, and if you need to, don’t hesitate to eat that humble pie. No matter how many helpings.
Written by Karl and Emma Pister