Practical: Assessing a Situation

There’s a story behind this image, which is part of what led to the name “Practical Connections” for the work I do with people, corporations, and organizations.

It’s Summer 2015:  I unexpectedly ended up driving across the country. I had planned on flying as I had two events in Northern California to participate in and would visit mom before, during, and after.

Early June, in a phone conversation, mom brings up that she needs someone to “temporarily” take care of her two senior Dachshunds as she was having a tough time between her own health issues and theirs. Given the brother and sister came from me, and I’m involved in animal welfare, I’d be the one to take them.  I change my travel plans, and drive there.

Fast-forward to my return trip at the end of July and early August.  I’m driving I-40 and realize that the Grand Canyon is about 50 miles away. I’ve flown over it a lot, I’ve been very near in multiple states … yet, I had never visited the Grand Canyon.  So, off we go.  That is, Courtney (the girl Dachshund) and I.  Sadly for mom, as I expected, Dobie, the boy Dachshund needed to be euthanized as his cancer had advanced.

The road to the Grand Canyon Skywalk is two lanes, through grazing land for longhorns.  There are multiple cattle guards with warnings to watch out for cattle.  No biggee.  I have a lot of driving experience.

ME? On the way out of the Grand Canyon, I was most definitely watching the cattle, versus “watching out” for the cattle. I stopped to say “hi” to the group of young longhorns in the photograph.

The one in the back far left was considering charging my FJ Cruiser.  ROTFL.  I merely looked at him and out loud said, “Really, is that your smartest move?”

He stopped any forward movement and seemed to roll his eyes.  My vehicle is much larger than him; and well, what would be the point?  It’s not as if I was intimidated.

Morale of the story compliments of our friend the Longhorn steer:  “Just because you can charge or attack something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.”

In assessing your response in any situation:  I start with asking what is the outcome of the situation I would like. Most always, I’d like efficiency and effectiveness in a resolution, peace, and a connection with the other person(s).  In the rare occasions I find myself “wanting my way”, that’s a signal for me to STOP …. gain some semblance of inner balance …. and then re-assess the situation.

In my experience, I’ve yet to see where being aggressive facilitates an effective or efficient resolution; nor does it facilitate peace or connection.

If you’re not blessed with the ability to practice “restraint of pen and tongue” (and nowadays, “fingers”), then I would suggest learning skills to engage your brain after your animal-driven instincts have kicked in.

Want to learn more on how to do that?  Or, how to bring those skills to your group, corporation, or organization?  Connect with me, and I can share multiple options on how to do so.

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