January 18, 2018

Dragging it out of them (or us)

Three in discussionIt’s remarkable how damaging it is to a relationship when we have to drag information out of someone—when we sense we aren’t being told everything and our time may be being wasted because we’re trying to solve a problem without all the facts.

Arguably, this was a factor in the resignation of Secret Service director Julia Pearson after security lapses at the White House. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-29452829. Confidence may particularly have drained because the whole truth of the incident only gradually emerged.

I’ve had two experiences of this recently…

One of them involves a software business rolling out an inadequately tested upgrade. Ensuing problems were, at first, the customers’ responsibility, it seemed. Eventually, accountability was accepted where it belonged and requests were made for time to resolve the issue—perfectly fine with me, once I knew that I didn’t have to labour over someone else’s problem.

But I’m warier of that company now. That’s the damage.

Another experience involves the publisher of a well-known news magazine that seems to be making economies in delivery timescale for subscribers without really telling them. Contacting customer services is a Kafkaesque experience. Result: Loss of trust.

Are you having to drag the facts out of anyone at the moment?

If so, how do you feel about it?

And what are the implications for when the roles are reversed?

Do you solve a problem when you can?

Exhausted and frustrated woman at a computerIf you’re anything like me, your first reaction to the question might be ”Of course I solve a problem when I can.”

But do you?

Do you always make the choice to deal with an issue when you have the means to? Or do you sometimes leave the problem because actually it’s easier to be working against something, to have something to push on, or even something to blame.

If somehow—and I know this may be unlikely—you could eliminate all your problems and be free of them completely, would that be a comfortable place or an uncomfortable one? What would you do with your freedom then?

Do you sometimes avoid adopting a simple solution and continue looking for a more complex one that’s somehow more justifying?

I know I do.

But the path of personal mastery, wisdom, and growth means choosing to solve our problems when we can, and moving on.