Creating Possibility

What matters most to those who matter?

Karen Coulson - Wednesday, June 29, 2011

“If you want to make a difference to someone you value - find out what they value.” Kc

After 30 years of marriage (yes, I was a child bride!), I have discovered something profound ...... My husband likes to be on time!! It’s not that he hasn’t told me. He’s said it on numerous occasions and in a variety of ways, ranging from pleading to pure frustration.  Yet, last week, for the first time, I really understood how important it was for him. He is the master of punctuality.

We were meant to be somewhere at 9am and he’d calculated with mathematical accuracy how long it would take to get there based on the time of day, expected traffic, roadworks, and speed limits. He knew to the minute what time we needed to be out the door to be ‘on time’.

I, on the other hand, was focused more on doing things which were only delaying us. As time drew closer to his calculated time to leave, he said with exasperation “I HATE being late!!” It stopped me in my tracks. I’d been sharing with others the gift we receive when someone tells us what they DON’T want. We just have to flip it, and it becomes a very clear message of what they DO want. So that’s exactly what I did.

‘So you like being on time?’ I asked.
‘YES” came his exasperated reply.
It really mattered to him - and I got it! And because he matters to me, I needed to make what mattered to him, matter to me. I also realised that for every minute I went over that time, he subconsciously translated that to mean that I didn’t really care (value) what he valued.

I told him I was going to be out the door early because I knew it mattered to him......... he didn’t believe me. Yet, when I raced up the steps to the car, shoes in hand, and 5 minutes early, he knew I was serious. He saw from my actions that what mattered to him, mattered to me. And that has made an amazing difference especially as I continue to honour that value.

So try it - take those gifts you’re given everyday wrapped up in what may  seem a frustrated declaration  - and ‘flip’ it.You’ll notice the connection as soon as you flip it back to them in what they really ‘DO’ want. Then it’s up to you to translate that newfound knowledge into a choice that will have you feel good and the other person feel valued.

Enjoy the discovery - it can truly be transformational.  I’d love to hear about what you notice as you follow this process, please share your discoveries, and post a comment.





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