The pandemic hasn’t been all about cleaning toilets and chasing hairballs. It’s also been an opportunity to spend a lot of time with my kids.
I’ve learned a lot, especially from our youngest.
I’m a mission-oriented person – I’m most happy when I’m following the rules, ticking away towards an objective. The fact that other folks see the world differently can seem like a flaw in their approach.
How might these people see the world?
Through the eyes of connection and harmony.
This has implications for relationships and leadership style.
I’ll share a couple errors of mine that repeated until a desire to be more effective with my kids got me past them.
Don’t expect a carefree person to be the “bad cop” in any situation.
If there’s difficult news to be delivered, a negative consequence to be administered or even a negotiation to be had… assign the mission-oriented person.
That part was fairly easy to figure out. In any relationship, one party will be better able to handle conflict than the other.
Where I spun my wheels was trying to up-skill my partner to be more like me. A waste of both our time and unlikely to provide any improvement to the marriage.
Further, your partner may be a great listener while you waste both of your time trying to up-skill them in a manner they have no intention of following!
This is best illustrated by dropping our youngest off at a COVID-playdate. We pull up, and my daughter tells me:
Don’t worry Daddy, we’re always super safe and stay outside. Love you, bye!
She hops out of the car, walks over to her friend, waves and wanders right into the house.
She told me exactly what I wanted to hear, then did exactly what she wanted. My son and I looked at each other, shrugged and headed off on our hike.
So, not only is “teaching” a kind person (to be a hardass) a waste of your time. Be sure you leave them an exit.
Be willing to drop the point.
First, because it probably doesn’t matter. The point is never the point, with a relationship-based person. Feelings are the point.
Second, because if you’re going to see a truly nice person totally blow their stack then it’s going to be when you’ve cornered them.
If you need to come back to it then consider an indirect approach…
- Do you remember that thing?
- How’d that make you feel?
- I was a little bit sad when…
Set the standard and love your ladies.