My thoughts about what to order for lunch were interrupted by the voice behind me.
“Are you going to wash your hands?”
It was an awkward moment.
Like a dog with a bone, the person persisted, “Are you going to wash your hands before returning to the cash register. I heard you sneeze.”
“I didn’t sneeze,” the young lady quietly responded, “I have Tourettes.”
The Story is about life’s journey. It connects us as people and instructs as students if we listen. There are five realities to the Story.
- Everybody has a Story. Look around your workplace, see your customers, family or yes, that person who cut you off on the way to the office. Wherever you see another human being, there is a Story. Success. Failure. Pain. Triumph. Joy. Sadness.
- Everyday you add to the Story. Some days are quieter, some are filled with surprises. Some days you add a paragraph, other times a day starts a new chapter in your Story.
- Today, you will influence someone’s Story. How you show up matters. It could be as simple as a smile or as sophisticated as an open-ended question.
- There’s always more to the Story. You thought your team member was rude, ignoring you in the hall when she was processing a call from the doctor’s office.
- You are responsible for writing your Story. It’s so easy to give the pen away and let a negative evaluation or a “You’ll never…” have too much power. We are to pick up the pen and write the Story we want to tell.
When it comes to relationships, it’s easy to make assumptions, jump to conclusions, or pass judgment on a fellow traveler and story writer. If you do react, the relationship will be damaged, and the Story changed.
P. A. C. E. Yourself
Leaders learn how to connect with people. To expand your influence and have fewer regrets in your relationships — personally and professionally — you will want to pace yourself.
Here are the four steps to better engagement; using P. A. C. E. acronym:
Pause and breathe…this helps slow you down, clear your mind, and reduce your inclination to react. The deep breath is especially helpful when caught off-guard in an emotionally charged situation.
Ask questions…this creates space to think. For example: Why do I feel frustrated? What did I expect? How did we get here?
Challenge your beliefs…this encourages the pursuit of truth in the Story. What do I accept as real? Is it true? How do I know? What might I be missing?
Edit the Story…this supports a better outcome. What do I want for this relationship? For this situation? How do I need to show up?
More to the Story
As the lady picked up her order, she quietly said, “I’m so sorry.” No doubt, the drive back to work created space for her to think.
While eating my lunch and observing how she worked and admired her courage.
Everybody has a Story. That Tuesday afternoon this young lady influenced the Story.
In our fast-paced, judgmental, tweeting society, and chaotic world, it’s easy to make assumptions, jump to conclusions, and pass judgment on a fellow traveler and story writer.
There’s always more to the Story.
Slow down and see the people.
Create space to think
What strikes you about the five attributes of the Story?
When do you need to P.A.C.E. yourself?
Here’s to the Story you are writing,
Image credit: Image: Dylan Gillis via Unsplash