Repair 101…

There are no equal partnerships. Someone strong and humble takes the lead. If you simply want to stay married and create a transactional relationship you can take more than give. You may get away with it, at least for awhile. You may stay together but it won’t be freakin’ magic in the making. Transformational relationship are worth the extra effort, friend. It just takes one to bring it into reality – one willing to lead in repair.

Recently a strong client of mine got in his own way. We all do. He offended his partner in word and deed. He told her to get over it. His attempt at repair had him saying a classic no no – “You took it the wrong way.” Never tell another how to take whatever it is they’re taking, btw. He made matters worse by continuing his repair with too many words. “I didn’t mean it that way.” Never tell another their interpretation is the problem, unless you want a helluva fight coming your way. Nobody cares what you meant in a moment where they received something that harmed their heart. So, when repairing, use few words. When a teammate, loved one, or partner tells you that you’ve harmed their heart, soften your own. Feel the sorrow you’ve caused and shut the #%$k up. When you get around to opening your mouth, let it be with contrition, remorse, and regret. Tell her/him, “I messed up. I’m a dumb ass. Forgive me.” Offer zero disclaimers. Own your stuff. This is repair 101.

Lead a marriage, partnership, company, family, or team of any size and you must lead in repair. Leaders mess up as much as any. The BTL leader repairs even more. Humbly they repair. Pride brings enmity, division, and leaves the team feeling the leader is looking down on them. Humility unites us, brings healing, and leaves the team feeling the leader is worth following because they are in fact a human. Remember, we stick it to the man. We stick with the HUman. So, stop fighting with another and fight your pride instead. Become a master of repair. Together you’ll transform. God, help me give more than I take.

Make sense? Make it common practice…

2 thoughts on “Repair 101…

  1. This was timely. Thanks.

    David Lockton
    Lead Director
    Lockton Companies

    Office 816.960.9120
    Fax 816.783.9120
    Mobile 816.806.8105
    444 W 47th St., Suite 900, Kansas City, MO 64112

    Executive Assistant: Becky Estes
    Office 816.960.9083 Email


  2. I saw something like this in action on a climbing trip with my 3 sons last week (ages 7, 10 and 11). Applies to relationships with kids too. We camped in Taos and Williams Lake and then hiked up to Wheeler Peak. Some of you may know it. Halfway up Wheeler, my 10 year old was really struggling with anxiety and breathing. I was walking slowly with him and encouraging him quietly and positively. After the third stop in 25 steps, I said, “C’mon Walt, let’s go.” He said, “You go to the top. I’m not going. I’m waiting here.” We had some back and forth. I got frustrated and said, “Let’s go” and then I started counting “1…”

    Before I got to 2, he looked me in my eyes and said “What are you going to do Dad? Throw me off the mountain?”

    What I heard was, “Did you bring me up to this stupid f*****g mountain so you could be mean to me? WTF?”

    I owned it and said, “I’m sorry. You’re right. You do you. We would love you at the top together with us. I believe you can do it, but it is okay if you don’t.”

    He got up and said he would do it at his own pace.

    There were more tears, but no more barking, no more demands, no more counting. I met my ten year old son for the first time where he is. I hadn’t evolved my relationship with him in at least 3 years.

    The peak was pretty cool with the 4 of us, but the trail up and down was where the beauty was at.

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