It’s a very intuitive dance
We meet someone and really hit it off. Maybe we even exchange numbers. We hang out once and things go okay, but even then we can sense that something is…off.
We wonder if they sense it, too.
We continue to call…but suddenly they seem just barely out of reach. Always busy, unavailable. Always responding a little bit delayed on Facebook to messages.
And over time we begin to figure it out. Not because of what they said…but because of what they didn’t say. The message we got, not loud and clear but silent and [often times] deadly, was this:
“You are not as important to me as I am to you.”
This happens all the time. In romantic relationships, with failed friendships, co-workers, double dates, even short conversations on the subway, bus, in the elevator. This type of communication is inevitable. It’s often times helpful because it helps us communicate sensitive realities on a regular basis that don’t ever need to be explicitly said.
In leadership, however, it’s a mistake. Especially when it’s with our own people. Especially when we’re supposed to help them grow.
There’s a girl I remember a while ago who was a part of our community. She was very outgoing. She was also often obnoxious and very insecure. People I knew spent time with her for a while…but then, you know, she was obnoxious. Of course, no one said anything.
And eventually she got the message. So she left.
Thing is, she came to our community because no one said anything to her at the community she came from.
And she’ll go to a community that will probably never say anything to her, either.
So she’ll just go from place to place, feeling like no one wants her. When really it was just no one had the courage to invest in her.
I wonder how many annoying people there are in the world that would change the world if only I had more courage. After all, everyone needs a little help seeing their social blind spots.
It’s just a hard conversation to have, that’s all.
And I’m wondering how many hard conversations am I avoiding right now that could serve someone, empower someone, challenge someone…
If only I had the courage.
Here’s to no more people having blind spots on my watch.