Friday, December 15, 2017

Stop your own press and wait for an explanation

Romeo“Where’s Romeo” I wondered at 1.15 p.m. on Monday confident that we had confirmed our call for 1.00 p.m. I dropped him an e-mail and let the thought go as I always have a backlog of work to catch up on (I once read research that showed that the average executive has over 230 hours of work backlogged, so I know I am in good company)!

On Tuesday, I received his response:
“My sincere apologies for missing the call yesterday. It’s been a really traumatic past few days. My home was broken into and my friend who was staying at my home was killed in my home by robbers. I can’t begin to tell you the emotional roller coaster that I have been going through since I got home and was told what happened by the police. I’m trying to get back to normal as possible but I have not had access to my home since then as it’s a crime scene and am staying with a friend. I have had to buy clothes and everything”.

This sounded like fiction – the first paragraph in a gripping suspense novel. But it was real – he even sent a link to the newspaper report. And the thought that immediately came to me was that it was a good thing I had not spent emotional energy getting bent out of shape about his missing the call without notice or explanation. For sometimes we do. Someone misses a call or appointment and we rush to judgement, creating all sorts of scenarios to explain the missed call/appointment – he doesn’t respect me; she doesn’t really want to meet with me; he is disorganized; she doesn’t value my time … yada yada yada. And our emotions run high as we continue to weave our own tales.

So much better to “stop the press” of your own making and wait for the explanation. The person missed the call or appointment. Accept it. Reach out and find out why. If there is no response, then so be it. Move on. If they proffer an explanation then accept it, and then decide if you would like to reschedule or not.

We waste so much time and energy creating stories about other people’s behaviour. Frankly, it would have been a waste of my time to have done that with Romeo, because there is no way I could have imagined what actually happened.

So with much love to Romeo, we will reschedule his call when he is ready.



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