Master Operators…

…are ones other masters and masters-in-training love to study. They are all around us, yet they are relatively few. They operate heavy equipment, machinery, treatment plants, warehouses, motor vehicles, airplanes, systems, switchboards, and more. They operate on the mound, on the field, on the dance floor, on stage, in surgery, in construction, in productions, in manufacturing, in securities, in the military, in the goal, and more.

Masters neither over-operate nor under-operate.

This is also true of extraordinary relationships in marriages, families, partnerships, businesses, churches, groups, and teams. Master Operators build true ONEness in all their relationships by practicing two disciplines extraordinarily well:

1. Master Operators initiate talking about the right things with the right people at the right time. Simple, but not easy. The right “things” fall into the category of putting first things first. Masters distinguish between urgency and importance, governed by a core-centered/self-controlling (not self-centered/others-controlling) mindset. The right “people” means honoring the principles of roles and relational boundaries — for example, master parents speak first with each other about important issues before they talk with the kids. Master partners speak first with each other and then their other leaders about important issues before they speak with the whole team. The right “time” requires the same kind of discernment and wisdom so as not to be overly reactive, nor overly deliberate. Repeated violations of the above principles foster dysfuntion, disunity and disengagement.

2. Master Operators talk about things the right way. When seeking to understand, they are Curious George. When seeking to be understood, they are CCDR (clear, concise, direct with respect). When listening, they tune in like an animal being stalked. When speaking, they have “shoot” (I.e. conviction) in their eyes and kindness on their face. They challenge out of belief, not out of frustration. They are neither so combative as to shut another down nor so overly tactful as to leave another wondering what they are saying. Simple, but not easy.

Every individual and every relationship and every team has tendencies. Do you know yours? Do you realize “under-operating” at work will usually surface in “over-operating” at home? Ouch.

These two disciplines are part of every BTL practice, where they are taught and caught by Master Operators and Master Operators-in-training.

What are you mastering? Together we improve.

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