We make so many every day. Should I hit the snooze? What should I wear? Dunkin or Starbucks? Highway or back roads to work? XM or radio? Those are the easy ones. The ones that, well… don’t REALLY matter. The ones that don’t have a significant impact on anyone, not even ourselves. Should we happen to disappoint ourselves with a choice that we’ve made – c’est la vie. We’ll get over it, hopefully learn from it and choose better next time around.
Then you start your day. You may work in a group setting with the same folks day in and day out. Or perhaps you work one on one with people, or with a different group of people every few weeks. Now our choices start to affect more than just ourselves. So they need to be made with others in mind.
I just filled my water bottle with the last drop in the cooler. Hmmm. Do I slink quietly back to my desk or out the office door and let the next thirsty person deal with it? Nooo – not me! I’d feel too guilty. Thank you St. Pius X church for an upbringing of self imposed catholic guilt. I’d fill my water bottle and wait to take a sip until I’d replaced the empty vessel myself, or recruited someone to assist me. It’s the right thing to do. Just be nice.
If I’m teaching a class of 30 wide eye’d 16 year olds that are hungry for knowledge and a CT License, and have a desire to learn the skills essential to keeping them safe, should I rush through the material so that I can get home to catch the ballgame on TV? Or should I teach them every tidbit of information contained within our curriculum AND supplement it with the knowledge I’ve acquired from a life-time of driving? Life skills that may one day be recalled when they are faced with a situation similar to one I’ve shared – and possible be the difference between life and death. Rather than TRYING to teach for a full 2 clock hours, shouldn’t we be struggling to cram all we know into those two hours? Remarkable Individual Performance.
How about that e-mail you get from a cranky coworker that is dripping with attitude? You know the one I mean, you can hear them shouting with each keystroke, or feel the condescension seeping through with every word. How do YOU reply? Are you offended and immediately shoot back an equally offensive email? Or do you take some time to reflect and recognize that this is totally out of character? If that’s the case – why not reply with concern rather than contempt? Such a deal breaker. Of course, if it’s not out of character, and this is their usual way of communicating, perhaps it’s time for a little chat to help them overcome their donkeyish ways. How about you? When you correspond via e-mail, do you reread it from the recipients point of view to ensure you aren’t sounding donkeyish or do you rush to say what you need to and immediately hit send? Hmmm….