Two adults, and a teenager, almost got into a 🤜🤛-fight at my 9-year-old son’s game a few weeks ago. Here’s what happened:
A coach was attempting to locate a 🔑 to unlock a storage container from the high school kid working in the snack bar. Here’s his approach…
He walks up to the building and bangs 💥 on the metal rolling door asking, rather loudly, for the key. The high school student, also the league president’s son, opens the side door and asks him not to bang on the rolling door.
Let me just interject here:
- It doesn’t take much contact for it to sound like loud banging, when you’re talking about a rolling metal 🚪.
- There’s clearly, already a history of perceived disrespect on both sides of this equation.
Ok, back to the story…
I am standing nearby and hear this coach suddenly raise his tone, “Now you listen to me Son! You’ve got no respect for your elders! (blah, blah, blah)” 😡
At that moment, a 6’4” man who was walking by, steps in and starts yelling at the coach, “I’m not going to allow you to bully this kid! You’re going to have to go through me!” 😡
You can already imagine the puffed up chests of all three of these guys and they’re getting louder 📢, more profane and more physical by the second.
I grabbed my son’s coach and we both put our bodies between all three of them asking them to de-escalate 🧘.
After a few more outbursts throughout the two-hour game and a few other adults inserting themselves to take sides, the league president asked me what happened and here’s what I told him:
“Mr. X is going to tell you this whole thing is about respect. Mr. Y is going to tell you this whole thing is about bullying. Your son is going to tell you it’s all about being treated poorly by Mr. X.
While all of them are partially true, I believe it’s mostly about Pride.
They all got so puffed up in their own belief that they had no out. They had no way to de-escalate and they certainly weren’t able to listen to one another.”
Ok, Micah, interesting story… But how does this help me maximize my EA investment?
Great question, I’m glad you asked.
This goes much wider and deeper than just your relationship with your remote Executive Assistant.
Here’s what I know, when someone is rude, disrespectful or downright mean… there’s always more to the 📖.
- What if you were able to take your offended 👓 off, set them aside and seek to 👂 their part of the story?
- What if that coach, instead of blowing up, responded to that teenager, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t meaning to bang on anything, I’m just looking for the 🔑 so that I can… Do you know where they are?”
- What if the second adult would have had the courage to simply say, “Hey, let’s calm down here. What seems to be the problem?”
- What if that teenager would’ve had the training and tools to respond to disrespectful adults with something like, “I apologize, I’m not trying to be disrespectful here. It just really startles me when I hear someone 💥 on the metal door. Our school has had multiple lockdowns this year, and I’m a little on edge.”
I’m not saying these are perfect responses to de-escalate, but I know for a fact they’re better than blowing up and getting ready to 🥊 someone out… which was a part of the colorful threats that followed this particular altercation.
I think we’d all be better served if we commit to being 🕊️ peacemakers.
So how can we be 🕊️? Here are a few ideas:
- Be objective. Discover what’s true, not merely what is perceived.
- Respect other people’s POV and emotions.
- Bring a listening-👂 and a calm voice to the conflict.
- Don’t let 🦁 pride prevent peace.
- Peace starts from within.
Sometimes conflict arises from past experiences and it’s hard to be at peace with yourself, let alone someone else. Here’s how you can deal with that:
In order to make peace with your past, you’ve got to own your piece of your past.
– Andy Stanley
– Micah Foster, Co-Owner
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
– Matthew 5:9 NIV