The other day at a function, one of my team members refused to go ahead with the job at hand with the excuse that he had a nagging headache and he couldn’t continue. He needed to rest he said, but the truth of the matter was that every one of us was tired at that point in time but we had to continue except him.
I felt very bad because it was insubordinate of him to say in front of other team members that he was going on with the work, that the other team can go in his stead. What if others had done likewise, how would we have finished the assignment at hand.
Despite the fact that he wasn’t feeling very fine, I believe he didn’t communicate his predicament to others in a matured manner, I had planned to take drastic measure for the way and manner he behaved, but after pondering over it over and over again, I began to realise that one of the main reason for conflicts and confrontations be it in the home front, or in the workplace or among friends is the lack of understanding one another.
It was Rumi who said this:
Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing , there is a field. I’ll meet you thre. when the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.
What he was saying, in essence, is that between the way we react and respond to a situation is a neutral place where we can put aside sentiments and critically assess the situation at hand- it is a place of understanding others.
There is a universal language of the heart and is in that place beyond” I’m right ” and “you’re wrong” when we don’t go deep enough to meet each other in that place, what happens is conflicts, chaos, and distortion.
In as much as I wanted to get angry with the young man, I had to take time really evaluate the situation, so that my decision will not further deepen the conflict already, In my homeland, there is a saying like this
You know how your friend behaves it is no longer a slander.
Meaning the more you understand someone, the less you can be angry with them. It is empathy. Developing empathy or the ability to understand others is very important in interpersonal relationships, it also has a wider impact on the way you handle conflicting situations, if you are surrounded by people on a daily basis, this is one people skill that cannot be overemphasized.
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