Listen. Acknowledge. Save the Crazytown
I used to work for Fluor during the Joffre 2000 Projects. There I met a man who taught me more than any person I’ve ever met. I don’t think he knows that.
The job was in Labour Relations. He was the manager and he hired me as his assistant. He was SMART. And not annoying smart (you know the type) but socially smart. Always friendly, always REALLY listened – stopped what he was doing and focussed on what you were saying, and always genuine in his responses. Always. But not a pushover. If you were an ass, he’d make you aware of it. But not in a passive aggressive way, in a direct concise way. No bullshit, no beating around the bush.
We’d have a job steward come in, sit for an hour to get to see him, only to put in a complaint that there was no lemon pie in the Camp Kitchen. OMG. My first EMOTIONAL response was always “Are you frickin kidding me? Get your ass out there and get to work and be grateful you get pie at all you lazy ass”… or something like that 😉
Not my boss, he would listen. He would understand that these men were away from their families for considerable lengths of time. They missed their kids, they missed being cared for by their spouses. He acknowledged their complaints. Which is all they really wanted. Someone to listen and acknowledge them. He never was quick to the emotional off-the-top response…he always took time to consider where they were coming from. Amazing talent. Needless to say, I’m crazy jealous of that talent and whenever I find myself going crazytown over something that REALLY isn’t that big of a deal, I try to remind myself of his awesomeness.
Stay calm. Breath. Listen. React. And if someone’s an ass, tell them straight up 🙂
Thank you Mark McCullough for the impact you’ve had on my world.