In this particular Tip, I want to share with you some very wise insight that one of my dear business friends taught me several years ago. He explained to me that the key to having good posture in any situation is patience. (When I am speaking of posture, I am not referring to sitting up straight or walking tall. I am talking about how to position yourself, so any personal relationship or business deal can be a “win-win” situation.)
It goes without saying that you cannot control another person. Neither can you judge what their motive may be in any given situation. Even if they want to win and want you to lose, you can still put yourself in a position where both of you can have a winning situation, or a winning posture. Maybe an example would help.
Recently I was supposed to have a very important meeting with someone. He had called me twice on the day before to make sure that I would be there exactly on time. The next day came and I was fifteen minutes early for the appointment. I waited and waited for our 10 o’clock meeting. At 10:20, I realized that something must have happened because the person did not show up. By 10:25 I needed to depart for another appointment. Rather than getting angry or upset for my wasted time, effort and energy, I decided to simply exercise some patience. I did not know what had taken place nor was I in a position to judge the situation properly since I did not know all the circumstances. It is important to realize that the patience I was demonstrating was not so much for the other person as much as it was for me. That is the key to having good posture or a good relationship with another person. It starts with having patience within yourself.
Later that day, the person I was to meet called to find out why I had not shown up! I explained that I had been there and waited until 10:25 and then, since I did not receive any other communication, I left for my next meeting. He laughed and told me he was just running a little bit late and that he had arrived at about 10:30. It would have been very easy at that point for me to say, “Well, it would have been nice if you had called me or let me know!”, but if I genuinely wanted to practice patience it was going to require me to PRACTICE PATIENCE!
This thing about patience is not as easy as it sounds. I could hardly believe his attitude about the whole thing! It was like it was no big deal. Yet, I had gone out of my way to be early for the appointment and waited an additional twenty-five minutes. But, I held my tongue and my posture. I practiced patience.
When we were finally able to meet several days later, there were some things he wanted to show me and to sell me. Again I decided the best thing I could do was to keep my mouth shut and continue to demonstrate patience. If any of you know me very well, you know that I am rarely short on having something to say. My biggest challenge is that I have something to say about everything! But, fortunately, I continue to learn that patience is a great virtue. The best way I have learned to demonstrate patience is to keep my mouth shut and listen and wait, and listen and wait, and listen and wait. And, if you think this is easy, I would just love to watch YOU when things don’t go your way to see how long you can listen and wait! If you are anything like me, it is not very easy.
We continued to have our meeting and the amazing thing was that he seemed to have a genuine kindness and interest in me. Without me ever having to say a word, he realized that he had not been very professional with me or very punctual. I continued to be kind. I continued to listen. I continued to practice patience. I felt like I was getting a good work out at the gym.
He shared some really good information with me about his product, as well as the opportunity he was putting before me. We were able to have a wonderful meeting and I do count him as a friend. By the end of the meeting, we were both laughing at some funny things that had happened in our lives.
This is one Tip that I wish that I could convey better with words. Unfortunately, I have found that words are the very things that destroy what I am trying to communicate. Our posture is most clearly seen by others through our silence and patience. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived said in Proverbs 17:28, “Even a fool is thought to be wise when he keeps his mouth shut.” That hits close to home!
The next time you are in a business or personal situation, see how you can better demonstrate posture in the circumstances by simply listening and not talking. I am not talking about manipulation or deception. I am talking about having the posture of one who is genuinely interested; one who wants to listen and connect without acting like a grown child. Maturity can be clearly seen by the way a person behaves when things do not go the way they had planned. All of us can be wonderful people when everything goes our way and falls into place just like we planned. But, when life throws us a surprise or curve, it is at that point when our posture will be revealed. It will mostly be seen or heard by our words and by the patience we demonstrate when we are trying to work through some issues.
I hope that you will begin to practice this Tip in the next encounter you have with someone in which you find yourself needing to get your point across. The only way to get your posture back, when you are feeling a little off balance, is to listen, think and hold your tongue. I have found listening and demonstrating patience to be the tools that help get me back on track every time. You will, too!
Tip: The key to posture is patience!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm