Two colleagues are waiting to leave for lunch at 11:30. Two minutes before you are set to walk out the door the phone rings. Your one-hour meeting ran over and has made you late for the next one. You had to stop for gas and there was a line at the pumps, and here you are, late again. “I’m sorry” you say, “It’s just been wild today.” What is the real problem here?
A colleague or associate has made a mistake – whether minor or grievous – and now you have to deal with it. What do you do?
In fact, it is not these events, whatever they may be – a divorce, a death in the family, or a difficult law practice – that causes burn out, stress, depression, the feeling of being overwhelmed, or illness but your perception of the events.
If you think you’re going to be in a difficult situation, remind yourself of these two steps before you start talking. And if you’re in the middle of an argument, you can always shift to this approach.