Do You Drive Into Storms? I have been saying this for a while with our team and I just heard it again when I was listening to a book called – Take the Stairs. The simple fact is if there is an issue whether big or small, do you put it off or do you drive right into it? I recently learned that Colorado is one of the few states that have buffalo and cows in it. Why the heck am I talking about buffalo and cows? Well, it turns out when a storm is coming from the west over the rocky mountain range, the cows start to run from it. The storm usually catches them and they stay in it for a long time. The buffalo wait for the storm to hit the mountain tops and run right into it and right through it. They minimize their time in the storm by charging right into it. Cool!!
When I coach our team on this, I just say lets drive into the storm. It can be a hard conversation with a client, or discussing a huge mistake they made, or something they don’t look forward to, it is better just to get it done. If you sit on it or try to avoid it or drive around the storm, it usually gets worse and ruins the other things that you want to get done for the day or week. It also builds up your anxiety which can make you not enjoy your day or people around you not enjoy you.
I recently helped my daughter sell something on Amazon and it ended up it was missing a part. We received a rather hostile email with threats and all kind of other words. Now this is where you want to practice the respond vs reaction mentality. She got upset after reading the email and I said hold on, let’s process and respond appropriately. The fact was the buyer was right, so we took a few minutes responded politely that we would look for the part and let him know that character and integrity are very important to us. He replied and pseudo apologized or explained why he was upset which made sense. It ended up we did not find the part, I offered to refund half his money, but he responded it was ok and he would just keep it without any kind of refund necessary. There was a good feeling behind this as many teaching moments were embedded in this situation that just happened this week. Actions Applied were:
- Responded vs. Reacted – allowed us to formulate a calm response which ended up in a great outcome (may not always be the case)
- Drove into the Issue (or Storm) – did not wait to respond too long as it would of just festered in us
- Kept our character through our actions – would of refunded part or all of it because we are the only one that can give away our character
Now that was more of a personal experience, but I do this with our team through retrospectives. I did a blog on retrospectives a few weeks ago, the key is to – Process it, Drive into it, and figure out what the resolution is, and change something so it minimizes it from happening again. You know when you need to address something because your gut usually tells you. I listened to a podcast that said our gut is something that has happened to us before or history that we can not recall in our mind so it comes out in the “gut feeling”. So trust your gut on most things and if your not sure talk to the person that is covering your blind spots.
- Practice Driving into Storms
- Do the Hard and Uncomfortable Task First (first thing in the morning)
- If you are a Reactive person, when you want to vent – make yourself take 5 minutes before you respond
- Know the difference between Aggressive and Assertiveness
- When its going to bug you the next day – you need to be assertive and do something about it
- If it goes away and does not stay in your head – let it go, your reaction would of been aggressive and that is usually destructive