Just the Facts Ma’am

Picture this… you get a referral for some potential business. You reach out to the prospective client in a timely manner by phone or email. And, no response.

Or perhaps you get a response and you’re asked for more information, or there’s some other indicator of interest. But at some point in the back and forth, the other party seems to drop the ball.

Or what about this, you’re at an event and find yourself talking about business with someone and they tell you they know the perfect person to introduce you to. And you do everything you can to foster the connection, but a week goes by and it isn’t made.

Hopefully these kinds of scenarios don’t happen that often, and certainly not within our very responsive and conscientious chapter. But out there anything is possible.

So what do you do?

Well, if you’re like a lot of people, what’s predictable are the feelings that come. Disappointment, rejection, maybe frustration, and in its extreme maybe even some anger. We wacky human beings know how to do two things very well, especially when engaging with others. We make things significant and we take them personally.

And though here we spend a lot of time talking about business, I invite you to map this onto your personal relationships as well. Think of those times when plans were supposed to get made and they weren’t. Or a friend or family member didn’t deliver on something they had committed to. Or maybe you’ve said the same thing multiple times and the other person just never seems to remember or pay attention. So our needs or expectations go unmet.

Not fun.

But here’s the thing. There are two very distinct parts of all of these scenarios. There are the facts of the situation, and then there are our interpretations of those facts. We love to make things mean something. Something about the other person, or something about us.

The next time you feel a disconnect in a relationship – business or otherwise – and it creates within you an experience of discomfort, do yourself a favor. Hit the pause button and look strictly at the facts. The way a news reporter might write them into an article. Try to be objective.

Not only will you notice how basic what happened (or didn’t happen) is, it will separate out the interpretation and significance, and there’s a good chance the charge you feel will come down. And remember, fear and negative feelings tend to play a particular role in our lives. They stop us in our tracks, and they separate us from each other.

And in both business and personal relationships, we’re clearly better served by continuing to move forward and to stay connected. And though there will definitely be times to let it go – the prospective client or even the longer standing relationship if it proves to be chronically flawed – in those moments we can stay grounded and connected to ourselves.

So maybe they’ve had a particularly busy or tough week (or maybe you have). Maybe they’ve been distracted or overwhelmed. Maybe the intention is there, and the business too. We don’t know, we can’t know.

Stay the course, and reach out again. Or cut some slack – for them and for yourself. Take a breath, and choose the next normal action to move forward.

Here’s to peace and productivity. To choosing from commitment rather than circumstance.

And to not only doing the do, but also enjoying the ride.

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