Shut the Front Door

 

I received this email form a friend and I thought it was very good advice. I am posting it here just as it was written – without edits. To provide some context, the author is an emergency room doctor who deals with the trauma of our humanity daily. Frank is a good person who asks the hard questions.  This advice is advice to live by, both in your professional and business life.

April 19th, 2012

 Shut the Front Door

“When you’re the victim of the behavior, it’s black and white; when you’re the perpetrator, there are a million shades of gray.”

-Laura Schlessinger

 

Ever ask yourself, “How do I get out of here?”  It seems like everyone in the Emergency Department is constantly complaining about someone or something!  Arrrgh!  Somedays it’s hard to even walk in the front door.  But the reality is we actually have great jobs.  The hospital is an amazing place to work where we get to do incredible things everyday.

When we really feel the need to get out of Dodge, all we need to do is shut the front door!  We, just like our patients, almost always create our own problems.  My hero Albert Einstein taught us, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

If things are bad for us now and we want to make them good, we only need to think and act differently!

Just like there is black and white, there is wisdom and stupidity.  These opposites exist so we can see the difference.  In a place where there is no wisdom, exists stupidity.  Speech, the words we say, can be of only two types:  we can either speak wisdom, or stupidity.  If it does not help, it hurts.  It really is that black and white.

“Badmouthing Others”, “Gossip”, and “Trash Talking” can seem to bring instant relief when we are in discomfort, but this type of speech is nothing but stupidity.  This behavior of ours—and we all do it—actually creates the heaviness and toxicity we experience with each other at work.

But we always have a choice.  We can speak words of sharing, support, and positivity.  Or we can speak words of negativity and stupidity.   There is nothing neutral.  You either want to help or you actually intend hurt. It all comes down to “we” or “me.”  We is positive.  Me is negative.  We is unifying.  Me is separating.  Whatever is not “we,” must be “me.”

We need to remember that if we, in everything we do, would include the “we”, “the other guy,” then everything would work out great for everyone.  Win-Win solutions would be the norm rather than the exception.  Whenever we are thinking only of me, there is going to be trouble.  We will create chaos, we will create bad feelings, we will hold grudges and we will never be happy or satisfied.  We will be hurt, angry, sad, and disconnected.

Any interpersonal difficulty or chaos we have at work usually comes from our need to be right!  When we say something less than kind in order to prove a point or to look good, does it help or does it hurt?  Is it about “me,” or is it about “we?”

There are really only two options.  If it’s not good, it’s bad.  If it is not wise, it’s just plain stupid.  If it doesn’t help, it hurts.  If it does not unify, it separates.  So how do we speak in a balanced way?  How do we give to others and invest in ourselves at the same time?

Balance comes from setting priorities.  So make your number one priority reconnecting with your pure and altruistic desire to care, to make things better.  And when you want to say “me,” instead of “we,” simply shut the front door!

Action:  Think before you speak!  I once worked with a nurse named Wendy.  Nurse Wendy was seasoned, experienced, good with people and levelheaded.  She was a great person and such an amazing nurse.  She did not often join in the department banter or offer up unsolicited opinions.  However, when she did speak, her comments were insightful and exceptionally helpful.

One day, when I was complaining, she took me aside to offer this piece of real, sound wisdom. She told me when we are tempted to talk about someone to someone else, we should first ask ourselves three things:

  1. Do I know this story to be true, or is it something I was just told?
  2. Is it necessary for me to repeat the story?
  3. Is telling this story positive and loving, or is it destructive?

Sometimes, the easiest way out of a negative place is to just shut the front door, unless you have something really wise to inject into (y)our situation!

Give us your best!

Care, make a difference and change (y)our world!

 

Frank Pinchas Gabrin, D.O.

Thanks Frank for your wise advice. 

Ron Finklestein
Business Growth Experience
330-990-0788
ron @ businessgrowthexperience.com

www.businessgrowthexperience.com

Ron Finklestein is an accomplished Sales Training Coach and Consultant for small businesses. Professional and public speaker. International business author.

About Ron Finklestein

Ron Finklestein is an accomplished Sales Training Coach and Consultant for small businesses. Professional and public speaker. International business author.

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