What I’m Grateful For: Bungee Cords, and My Lead Engineer
This week was just another typical COVID series of ‘blursdays’ until Thursday, where I meet up with my team in a local park for a socially-distant “Thirsty Thursday.” (This, by the way, is one of our treasured company core values – beer – or hard seltzer, or a Coke, on every Thursday afternoon, with the team.) This week, it was a little rainy so only a few of us sat damply in the park, enjoying our brief time together before heading back to our regular work-from-home. Except, when I tried to shut the back hatch of my SUV after putting the beer and ice back in the fridge, the latch WOULDN’T LATCH! The whole mechanism just…. failed. So I called a few numbers, took it to a local shop who said it would be under warranty but I needed to find a Kia dealer which almost certainly would be three hours away and after a nice little panic, I texted my lead engineer and asked if he had any bungee cords. Immediately he popped out of his dark engineering cave and brightly rummaged around in his trunk where he quickly emerged with two perfect bungees. We got the back hatch secured, and I felt a huge rush of gratitude and relief. Eric (my engineer) returned to his programming den, and I drove on home safely, albeit with a lot of warning beeping and annoying messages on my dash interface. Thank you bungees. THANK YOU ERIC! I (along with one my team) are taking a coaching course from a group called Forward Coaching, and I just have really been impressed by the first lesson. One nugget I really want to share with you is that WORDS ARE SPOKEN BY THE LISTENER. Which takes a while to make sense… we tend to assume that if we are being “clear” (in our own mind) then others will understand what we’ve said. But words are kind of like currency – or cowrie shells – the meaning they have is what has been assigned to them. So in general, “tree” is pretty unambiguous – you might picture a ponderosa pine while I picture a giant oak, but we can probably be ok.
What I’m Reading: Coaching Materials from Forward Coaching with knowing what each other means about “tree”. What about words that might be very, very different in terms of both culture and personal experience – like ‘right’ ‘moral’ ‘best’ ‘integrity’ ‘feminine’ ‘I tried’ – each of us KNOWS what those words mean to us, but we have NO control over what they mean to someone else. So even the most basic conversation can be a wild miss if we are not really, deeply mindful of LISTENING and working to deeply understand what is being said. “…..you may provide the words, but the listener always provides the definitions.”
Web Tip: Do a quick check up on your website! Is it easy to navigate? Can you access your menu easily? Can you find your call to actions? Are your lead captures easy to get to? Don’t forget to also check it on your mobile devices!
Quote I’m Pondering: “Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power.” Lao Tzu