Last Friday afternoon I was in the middle of finishing a major task when a colleague who happened to work for the same company I was doing the project for called me. I picked up the call assuming the discussion would be about the project.
As we started to chat, I sensed he was going through a personal issue that he wanted to talk about. At the time, I was so consumed with finishing my task at hand that I rushed through the conversation, set a future date to get together, and ended the call abruptly. After hanging up, I started to feel disappointed in myself that I didn't take the time to listen to my friend in need.
We all have experienced similar situations where we make a choice that serves our needs in the moment but leaves us with an uneasy feeling of regret later that we should have done something differently.
Our chaotic days require us to make instant decisions but sometimes we need to take a step back and consider the consequences, especially when it comes to relationship-building. Relationships, after all, are a key building block in our professional and personal roles.
On-the-spot decision making can be the most challenging.
- Not taking the time to help a fellow co-worker when they are overwhelmed.
- Raising your voice and yelling at someone during a meeting when an issue irritates you.
- Feeding into the negative conversation about your boss with colleagues.
When the situation occurs though, try to take a brief moment and ask yourself how you will feel after the decision. Will it make you feel good or bad?
When we move away from the motive of "what's in it for me" to "what's it it for us?" this enables us to make better decisions. When we do the next right thing, we will feel inner peace and ultimately enrich all of our relationships.