Learning by Observation
You can find the associated Facebook Live here.
I learn a lot by watching other people and especially when what they do inconveniences or outright annoys me. (Before you say it, I am aware that if I’m annoyed, it’s because I allowed myself to be, but hey, I’m still a work in progress too!) One of the things I’m especially conscious of is time. I believe that if we set an expectation to be at a particular place at a specific time, we should do everything in our power to be, if not a few minutes early, at least on time.
I understand that people like doctor’s, hairdressers, and other service people are at the mercy of patients or clients who either arrive late themselves or take up more of their time than expected. But I also appreciate it when their receptionist tells me when I check in that they’re running a few minutes late. Stuff happens, after all.
Your Time is Valuable to Me
Recently, I signed up for a series of free webinars. I knew the purpose was to generate interest in future paid webinars so I’d have thought timeliness would have been a priority. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and even if I had found the program to be something I’d benefit from purchasing, the lack of respect for participants’ time was enough to put me off. Don’t get me wrong. Being a little late on the first one, or really, any one of them wouldn’t have been a big deal. But to be 15 minutes late for every one of them tells me that either the people who had signed up for the free classes were low on her priority list or she was just disorganized as a rule.
In the long run, it didn’t matter as I’m not really in a place where I’d benefit from her expertise anyway, but I did come away with a lesson which wasn’t part of her package. When the time comes that I offer webinars, free or otherwise, I will make sure I do a few things beforehand:
- Check all systems and equipment to be sure they’re functioning properly
- Have all notes and material ready and reviewed well before the beginning of the event
- Make sure I’ve set things up so the image people see is frontwards (a typical issue with Facebook Live which is easily resolved)
In the event that the Murphys check in unexpectedly as they so often do, I will do everything in my power to communicate with my viewers and give them an estimate of the delay. In short, I’ll make sure they know I not only appreciate, but respect the time they’re investing in me.
Communicating Without Offending
Over the years, I’ve learned more about what not to do from others than what to do. In all honesty, I suspect others have done the same with me. We’re all human. We make mistakes. Most of us own up to them if we’re aware of them, but often, nobody thinks to make us aware. They simply work around us or worse, get annoyed with us and allow that one-time annoyance to affect our interactions forevermore.
I do try to let people know if they’ve done something that bothered or inconvenienced me. What I lack right now is the proper level of tact, so often, my message simply causes them to take offense. As a result, they tune out anything else I might have to say (again, simple human nature).
As I write this, I realize we all have messages we’d like to impart. Though we believe what we have to say is for the greater good, we’re all a little myopic. We’re not really set up to determine what constitutes the greater good as none of us has a complete world view which encompasses everyone’s wants, needs, or situations. We’re at different stages in our development, whether it’s emotional, social, or intellectual. Thus, what works for us won’t necessarily work for someone else, or even resonate with them, any more than it did for us prior to this point in our own development.
I’m learning that the rule of writing, show, don’t tell, is also applicable to life and the messages we wish to convey. The best way to communicate the lessons we’ve learned and want to share is to be a living example. In other words, we have to walk our walk. This is something I, for one am still working on. I don’t see it as ever being perfect, but if it was, I’d have nothing more to strive for. I keep raising the bar on my expectations of myself, so perfection only means I’m ready for the next level. If you’re anything like me, you raise that bar long before you perfect the place you’re in. That way, you never hit a rut where you feel like you’re making no progress. You never get bored with the place you’re in because there are always new places and things to discover and learn.
Showing Appreciation Subtly
This particular place has taught me that I have things to learn if I want to ensure that my listeners feel appreciated. There are underlying processes and techniques I’m not yet aware of, any more than I was aware of how to pull off a Facebook Live a few short weeks ago. I may not appreciate those who offer me something for free to promote their product if they consistently show up late. But I have come to respect the fact that for me as for them there will be challenges to overcome. I just hope others will be more understanding of my mistakes and judgment errors than I have been of those whose only real mistakes are showing up late and not communicating.
Two of the most valuable lessons I’m learning as I traverse this road called “Life” are compassion and humility. I have a long way to go before I surpass even a novice level in either, but recognizing where we need to improve is always the first step to healing and resolution.
In All Places and Thing, There is Gratitude
My gratitudes today are:
- I am grateful for examples of all kinds.
- I am grateful for my imperfections. They allow me to find newer, better ways to improve.
- I am grateful for those who put themselves out there in their own imperfection. It gives me the courage to be visibly imperfect too.
- I am grateful for the courage to step outside my comfort zone over and over and over again.
- I am grateful for abundance; peace, love, joy, lessons, opportunities, inspiration, motivation, butt-kickers, friends, celebrations, remembrances, offers and acceptances, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.
I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!