Reflect Before You Respond
RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – When Connor and his two siblings were much younger, they sometimes actually got in trouble. It might be as simple as doing something they knew they were not supposed to do. Other times it might be a little more mischievous, like scratching their sibling’s name into the new coffee table. Or practicing their penmanship by writing their name, on the dash, of our brand new car, in sharpie!
Whenever a spanking was in the near future, they were directed to a little bench in our bedroom to sit, wait for the punishment, and ponder their transgression. It also gave us time to collect our thoughts, maybe discuss with each other what happened, and decide together the proper punishment. It certainly allowed me time to talk things over with Kris, and maybe calm down, before rushing in to play executioner. Sometimes we would let the transgressor sit for 15 minutes or longer, pondering their fate…while we had time to step back and reflect.
Today I have tried to incorporate that into the way we run our business. If someone in our organization does something wrong, or if we are wronged in some way by another company or an account, I hurry up and WAIT. I wait and talk it over with Kris, or my father in law, Tom. Then I often type up an email saying exactly what I think….and then don’t send it. I’ll come back a few hours later and read that email. After reading it I might start working on a second draft. Sometimes when I finally send it, it might be the fifth draft two days later. I’ve never regretted one of those emails or phone calls. Now the rare times I fired a quick response back off…that’s a different story.
Numerous mornings when I used to meet Dr. Jim, I brought with me a wrong I had experienced. Over breakfast I would go on for 30 minutes or more telling him how that person should be deported to Siberia. Finally, when I came up for air, he would calmly look at me, open his Bible and say “why don’t we see what the Bible has to say about that”. A strange thing happened. As we read through the scripture he would pick out, I would begin to see things differently. Usually the wrong was still there, it just felt different. My emotions would be different, and my thoughts about the situation usually different, too.
When we left the restaurant we would climb in one of our cars and pray together. I don’t know what the mathematical equation is for prayer, but the answer is always the same. You feel better after talking with the God of the universe about your issue. It typically seemed a lot smaller after we prayed about it. I would always drive away from that place with a different mindset then I did when I drove up.
Umm, I wondering, maybe he was on to something….
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11)