day 12: The Cool Head

Work is filled with moments that get us ruffled and upset. With all the different kinds of personalities and personal agendas swirling around each day it is hard to not fall into the trap of finding ourselves irritated by the smallest word or action and sometimes just downright angry at a co-worker over an email, something said in a meeting, or a decision made that did not take our opinion (or feelings) into account. We’ve all been there and somehow I think in today’s age of email and text message communication it is easier to misinterpret and misconstrue things more than ever. I wish I could count the number of times, but I can’t because they are too many, where I received an email that sent me over the top and in typing the response back if the keys weren’t made of the hard plastic that they are, they would have broken from the striking pressure from each angry keystroke. I did learn long ago, the hard way, that those messages must immediately go to draft and must sit for 24 hours in their cooling off period, otherwise they cause lots more trouble. The cooling off period is even harder when in PDA/Blackberry mode. It’s better to lock the thing in the glove box and go on into dinner than think you can respond in real time with anything close to resembling civility. But, civility, diplomacy and humility is what we are called to demonstrate. In Titus 3:2 Paul exhorts believers to act in a manner that is above the fray. He says, “They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone”. Gentleness and humility are not usually personality traits that show up on our business performance appraisals as ones that will get you ahead. But, that is what we are told to be when faced with those moments when everyone else talking behind the backs of others or losing their cool and going after each other. Today, when the scuffle starts see if you can be the cool headed one in the group. The one that wards off the fight by gently bringing the conversation back to where it should be and/or with great humility move the position of argument to the center where it can be resolved. Use this moment today to test yourself and for others to see that you approached the situation differently than others and in fact become the example of what Paul asks us to be.

Reference: Titus 3:2 (New Living Testament)

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