This morning, during practice 19 with a beautiful team who is learning how to argue without attacking, we covered some old ground in a new kinda way. I asked the team to tell me more about the most recent argument that transitioned quickly into a thermal nuclear heat seeker. The struggle began when one person made a “bid” toward another. The bid was simply for the receiver to tune in and give them their ears. The sender simply wanted to vent. The receiver, however, heard something that told their brain to focus inward. They played a negative script about the situation instead of focusing on the sender. Before they had time to think clearly, that pesky emotional center (amygdala) went off, the mouth opened, words came out attacking the idea, and the fuse had been lit. The receiver wasn’t even attacking the sender but the sender’s brain didn’t pick that up. All they received was the negative emotion and eventually they went off.
So, today, we unpacked this bid. The team wrote what they could have done to prevent this from even becoming an argument, much less a thermal nuclear attack. The writing brought clarity – it mostly does, you know. I won’t share this teams learning but I will share my extrapolation to me. I do this all the time and rarely broadcast, afterall, it’s usually my personal stuff and I tend to only let a few see any of what’s inside of me. Funny, huh. Yup, it’s true. Anywho, here it is for what it’s worth…
I learned it really matters to focus on the bidder; the bid itself, not so much. When Miss bids for my attention it doesn’t matter how much or how little I care about the particulars of said bid. What matters is how much I care about the bidder and see her as my bride. The more I see my Miss as my beloved, the more readily I give her my attention on small bids that seem to lack meaning, at least to me. All relationships are defined by these frequent, mostly small and insignificant bids for each others attention. The happiest couples, communities, and companies are more aware than most. The happiest are aware of the bids from those they love. Most times there is no “action” required – just attention. Remember this Chet. Most of the bids from those you love don’t require a response. You don’t have to fix Miss, just be her man. Be someone she can count on to hear her, accept her, love her. And, as always, when you bust a bid and make it about you – just be humble and lead with repair. Your enemy, Chet, is your mind. Slow it down. Turn it off. Stop it from rushing to judge or assuming too much. Stop the old self centered script and give your attention to your bidder; the bid itself isn’t as important. Focus on the bidder. Love the fact that the bidder wants your attention. God, help me here. Good.
Whatever teams you lead, you and your teammates are in the bidding business. The problem is you and your teamates are mostly aware of your own bids; those bidding toward you, not so much. Want a better team? Become a better bid receiver. Hear the yearning, not the crazy bitch script. You and your team just got better; bitter, not so much. And, God, help us all hear when we’re hurting. Remember, we’re all hurting. God, help us all..