Yesterday towards the end of the workday, I found a big error in a program I had been working on. The problem did not only effect me but many others, but I felt very responsible for fixing it. I called the programmer and began to feel myself get upset as we talked because he did not seem to think the issue was a big one and did not feel the need to fix it. I could feel myself getting more and more concerned, shaken and panicky and thought I might start yelling at the guy. I like things to be right damn it! I really needed to think about how to fix MY problem if he was not going to make the changes I wanted to the program so I said I had to go. I hung up kind of abruptly. I called my business partner and explained what was happening and she had her own reaction. An ALL CAPS EMAIL WAS SENT TO OUR PROGRAMMER from her. The tech guy we work with on our end was not as kind. He ripped the programmer a new one and said fix this issue now or we are going to have a bigger problem. So round and round all of our responses went. We had stubborn, defensive, worried, anxious, angry, reactive, threatened, fear and panic going all over the place. It was interesting to watch how we all navigated the situation. Part of the problem for me was that the programmer seemed unwilling to hear our concerns. His reaction came across as blocked, hard and closed off. Tough to work with that one!
Once we all had time to think and gather the information we needed to see the light, make a decision around our problem and find a solution, things started to unfold. I myself, took some long deep breaths, tried not to blame but find an agreeable fix. Sometimes when you have a lot of people involved in a process, communication becomes so important and somewhere along the lines, it broke down in this situation. GET THINGS IS WRITING! Our programmer, through the wisdom of one of his advisers, realized he had made a mistake. He called us back and said he would fix the problem. And he did.
I find when things get tough like this, especially when it comes to communicating, it's important to be a good listener. You have to listen to your inner voice, hear your outer voice (am I yelling?), and listen to the concerns of others. You have to let go of your ego and try to see things from all sides. Sometimes it means admitting you made a mistake and in this case we all did. We make assumptions that should not be made and in business or personally that can cause many problems. So as I continue to practice being a good communicator through my words, my photographic images or on a dance floor, I try to be fully self expressed and with kinder words, fewer, yet more impactful images and with the grace of a butterfly.
Most of all... I try to be a good listener.