“It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear... it's like being between trapezes.” ~ Marilyn Ferguson
Spring is a wonderful season for new beginnings or modifications of the old.
Last week we experienced a threatening gap between our caregivers’ shifts as we drove into the driveway. We stressed with A. when she began work at Adagio that K. needed to leave before the hour to make it down the hill in time to catch her bus 18 which comes any time between 2:58 and 3:10. Fear froze my brain and I jumped in to the breech with a squawk and offended A. who came at 3:01—not exactly late. To make a long story short, A. waited a day and then at a calm space in our caregiving informed me that I had offended her.
Here is the test: How would you respond?
a. Freeze her out and triangulate with my husband about that insensitive A.
b. Respond that she knew and she should have and she…she…she….
c. Pause. Review what happened and respond with appreciation that she told me I had offended her. Apologize and hug.
If you don’t know about triangulation, it is when A experiences a problem with B and goes to C to complain about B. Now C has A’s problem on her hands and must decide to choose sides, or…tell A to deal with it herself and she needs to talk to B directly, and C doesn't want to hear anymore about it until A does.
If you choose (b) you have an attitude problem and need to do some thinking about your relationship with B. Are you in frequent contact with B? Is any of B’s complaint your responsibility? Do you have problems with more people than B and how often do you offend people? If the answer is that Spring brings all the jerks out of the woodwork, hurt feelings aren’t seasonal.
This time, I correctly chose (c) and expanded the base for communication between A and myself. I also confessed to K. so that, even though she wasn’t directly involved, I could further build her trust in me for the future when I step on her toes. And I will. I’m not dead yet.
My son sent me the Marilyn Ferguson quote. Any organizational system experiences the heart-stopping moments of suspension between trapezes. And organizations are composed of individuals who also swing in Spring breezes and other tornadic activity. Hugs are wonderful, safe stops in the action. Give them often.