It’s Just Information

March 6, 2009

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A very wise friend and mentor always says “It’s just information.” That’s been useful to me.

  • When Sales doesn’t use the carefully crafted email signatures we spent money and time to create, I said “they’re being disrespectful and irresponsible.” My mentor countered, “It’s just information. What are they telling you?” Turns out they were telling me that the carefully crafted signatures didn’t meet their needs.
  • When negative comments on blogs spike after a change to support policies, I said “they’re griping about losing support they’re not willing to pay for.” My mentor countered, “It’s just information. What are they telling you?” Turns out they were telling me that they considered support an implicit part of the bargain and, if it wasn’t, I needed to let them know that up front.
  • When co-workers resisted new ideas, I said “they’re resistant to change and new ideas.” My mentor countered, “It’s just information. What are they telling you?” Turns out they were telling me I needed to demonstrate that I understood their concerns first. Stephen Covey 101: seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Maybe you respond to everything rationally instead of emotionally. If so, I envy you. Me, I don’t. So I treasure having a mentor to remind me “it’s just information.”

Photo by Calistobreeze

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7 Responses to “It’s Just Information”

  1. J Bingo Says:

    Outstanding post! Thanks for the wisdom, I will put it into practice immediately.

  2. rsomers Says:

    Thanks JB! I’ve been lucky enough to work with some wise folks (yourself included) and I treasure the things I’ve picked up that way.

  3. simonsalt Says:

    Russ,
    I’m with you. I wish I could be rational at all times and in all things. I have learned the hard way that I have to take a breath and walk away, sometimes for days, before I come back and respond to things, especially online where hitting the send button might be cathartic but it isnt usually helpful. Great post.

  4. Allen Says:

    You should publish insights learned from the book ‘ The Wisdom of Shukers’. That guy is smart.

  5. rsomers Says:

    Thanks Simon! You seem like a very rational guy so good to know you struggle with the same issues we lesser mortals do .

    Allen…the world would greatly benefit from ‘the wisdom of Shukers.’ He is a pretty savvy guy in my experience. Great idea for a blog!

  6. Bill Fitzpatrick Says:

    Excellent post. I’d offer up this; The ability to respond rationally hastens understanding, but the ability to respond emotionally spurs ACTION. I tend to be one of those ones rational to a fault, and therefore often slow to ACT.

  7. rsomers Says:

    Great point, Bill! Drives home that balance is needed, and knowing which pole to veer towards in any given situation. Thanks for commenting!


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