Keep the door open

For a while, I had been experiencing techy issues for my office. While we are creatures with extraordinary capabilities to adapt, the lack of certain business services can be highly disruptive. Projects and proposals were pending and working from an alternate location for an unknown period added an element of uncertainty.

Calling my business service provider to find a solution, I was told I had only two options – either, or – according to the company’s policy. Neither option was a step forward. I made a proposal. It got a “no”; it didn’t adhere to company policy. My request to make the proposal to a different department was met with, “Good luck with that.” (i.e., a pre-emptive “no”). 

The only assumption I held onto was this: Assume that whomever you’re with, they also want to find a mutually workable solution.

What worked:

  1. Share that you want to work WITH them to explore possible options;
  2. Acknowledge their openness to explore possibilities;
  3. Articulate what would work for you; Ask what would work for them;
  4. Repeat #1-3.

I was reminded that:

  • The person is not the company – I’m speaking with another human being just like me;
  • “No” means that there are always options and possibilities yet to be explored;
  • Trust is built when the going gets gooey and both parties stay dedicated to a resolution.

Whether in business or in life, a connection suffers when either person or party doesn’t value or respect the connection. Likewise, a relationship is strengthened, not by preserving a smooth surface, but rather by taking a stand for the relationship and keeping the door open to possibilities despite the heavy gusts of “No’s”.

Where are there closed doors in your life? What will it take to reopen them?