Each week, I walk through the lobby of our church to check on things from the guest perspective. During one of those routine checks, I walked past my boss meeting with some contractors regarding our building expansion project and overheard the foreman ask, “What can we do better?”
As I made my way back to my desk, I found myself tossing that question around in my head, wondering how often I approach my relationships like that—at home, at work, wherever? All too often, when faced with even the hint of conflict, I react like a spooked cat, with her back arched and claws out, ready to pounce.
What are you talking about?
That’s not my fault.
It all started when *you* were late.
I can’t believe you thought I’d want it to look that way.
I don’t deserve this.
What if we always approached every relationship like that foreman did? Such a simple statement, and yet filled with humility, sacrifice, and service. You can’t stay angry or annoyed or frustrated at someone who approaches you in that way.
The funny thing is I didn’t even detect any sort of frustration on the part of my boss. He wasn’t upset at all about the project’s status. In fact, it was a routine status meeting between client and contractor. In many ways, that makes the statement even more profound. The foreman wasn’t trying to backpedal and fix a problem, he was attempted to root out any unforeseen issues, to prevent future concerns, and just keep his client satisfied.
He humbled himself, to ask how he could better meet the needs of the person sitting in front of him. Now that’s how you build a strong relationship.
Apparently, I can learn a lot more than whether our magazine is in-stock when taking a routine walk through our building’s lobby…