The conversations always change. As the both parties realize that they are no longer employee and manager, team member and leader, something changes. Both parties receive a message that they have a choice. There is a new conversation that is coming. What dialogue emerges and the form it will take will come from decisions made independently by each party. It is in the new conversation that the true goal of each is often revealed.
As we chatted, catching up with what the other had been doing as well as the activities of mutual friends, I was struck by his positive outlook. There was no question that his frustration with his current situation was bubbling over into the rest of his life. At the same time, he was focused on what he needed to do. The rest was “out of his control”. As a result, he did not see the need to spend any time on that part of his life.
In contrast, there “are the ‘grumpers,’ the bellyachers, grabbing for the biggest piece of the pie, talking big, saying anything they think will get them ahead.” (Jude 1.16) If I had to summarize their perspective, I would note that only the destination mattered. One step up a ladder followed by another. The process was, for each, not important. Whatever, whenever the situation called, they would go for more. The cost to others was chatter in their lives, something to be ignored at the risk of caring and failing to get ahead.
As the conversations flowed into our day just finished, I shared a frustrating customer service moment.
“My service representative did not take the fundamental steps to solve my problem. S/he immediately assumed I was at fault. S/he did not even check.”
“You realize that I help service your account?”
“No, I did not. I am sure the individual meant well. At the same time, they failed with the basics.”
“Do you mind if I call you in the next few days? I would like to make sure I understand.”
I hear an invitation to walk.