Getting on the Same Page
The human mind is a wonderful thing, but everyone has one of his or her own and each one interprets things the way it sees fit based on previous experience, genetics, levels of stress, levels of sleep, etc. Let’s take a look into how putting two or more brains together to reach a common goal can be a very messy business….
I have been working with people on a daily basis and let me tell you what, it is hard to work with the general public in any capacity! Whether it is; sales, education, customer service, bagging groceries, etc., you will interact with a few crazies every now and then. The crazy people are actually not the hardest for me to handle, because I can generally not take offense to what they are saying, I can dismiss it with the thought that “Um, yeah, they’re crazy, it doesn’t matter…” What I get disturbed by is the little mistakes and mishaps and misinterpretations that occur just naturally when you work with a large number of people… the things that I cannot control. Yes, for anyone who reads my posts regularly, I think we have established that I am a control freak…moving on…
In our meetings at work we constantly strive to “get on the same page” and review and explain processes and policies and procedures over and over. While sometimes review meetings can seem boring, there are times when there are about 4 different interpretations of the same policy or procedure, so it is a good thing that we discussed it in further detail and clarified what it means. Many people in the meetings argue that we all have different viewpoints and are not going to see everything the same way. I find myself frequently reminding everyone that policies and procedures in the workplace are not optional, they are required, and if we are not all on the same page, then we need to review them and get on the same page quickly for the sake of our company. Stress levels are higher at work during busy times, of course, so we try to have these conversations during the slow times of the year. This prevents many fist fights in the break room, I’m sure!
As a spouse:
If you are married, I’m sure that you have experienced this with your spouse. My husband and I will have a “budgeting date” (that’s what we call it to fake ourselves into thinking it will be fun and not skipping out:) in which we have to “get on the same page” with our finances and it sometimes turns into heated discussions. Sometimes it is about what to spend money on, sometimes it is just about the pure math of budgeting. I have recently learned that I should not budget on only 6 hours of sleep after a long hard Monday when all I want to do is go back to sleep. I got easily offended when he wanted to double check my work after balancing the checkbook and finding something off between out bank statement and our checkbook. However, I would have probably done the same thing if he was the one balancing the checkbook. I can fully understand, a day later, that he had good intentions and just wanted to balance the budget and get things straight, but in the heat of the moment, when the chocolate had run out and the math was staring me in the face, I got so ticked I wanted to scream at him and prove him wrong. My brain then told me “hey – it must be his fault – he didn’t do his part right – I always do it right”. My heart said “Okay, let’s take a step back, he always has good intentions.” Then my brain told my heart to shut up and leave the room and I started yelling and crying and getting offended at his words and assuming ill-intentions. I know – that escalated quickly right? My husband’s face alerted me to my overreaction instantly.
If you haven’t had a discussion like this with your spouse over budgeting, perhaps it was a different weak point for you. Regardless, it ended up being my fault. I had entered a bill into our checkbook twice which made our numbers in our checkbook off by close to $250 and once we found it, I felt horrible. I am a stubborn woman, so I did not admit that it was all my fault right away. But my husband is a patient man, thank God! He did not fight me about it. He told me that he knows it is stressful for me and that it’s okay to get upset and then work through it together. I melted into a puddle before him and apologized and then went to bed shortly after. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I let my emotions get the best of me? As usual, we reconciled our differences quickly, but I can see how this could have spiraled into a horrible feud due to my stubborn attitude.
As a parent:
Do you remember hearing the phrase “Because I said so!” from your parents as an explanation as to why you are not allowed to do something? I remember this clearly and I remember thinking it was nonsense. I kept thinking “What is so wrong with you telling me the truth? I deserve an answer, for crying out loud!” Well, now I am on the other side, and I have definitely used this phrase more than once. It is so hard to explain to a 2 year old why mommy has to make dinner instead of play cars with him. It is so hard to explain to a 6 year old why sometimes we have to do homework even when we don’t want to. It is so hard to explain to both of them why mommy needs a time out now and then, too, but mommy enjoys time outs and frequently takes chocolate with her to the time out corner. Therefore, sometimes, it is much easier and much more productive to tell both of them “Because I said so” when they ask “why ?” for the 100th time about the same issue. Getting on the Same Page as your child does not always mean that they agree with you. It does mean that you have an understanding that you are the parent and they must obey the rules while in your house, even if they don’t understand the rules. This is good training for teaching them how to submit to a boss in the future. I have learned that I have to choose my battles with my kids so that they will enjoy some time with mommy and not always be fighting with mommy.
If you have a misunderstanding about anything big or small, don’t worry. You have lots of company! We cannot let these little mishaps ruin our families, our work, our relationships, etc. We need to keep reviewing, keep discussing, keep cooperating, and get past the tension until we get on the same page with each other.
Matthew 18:21-23NIV Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.”