Sunday, July 1, 2012

26: Let the other person save face

My parents visited on Friday afternoon and made us a fresh container of sun tea.  In the middle of my first glass, I told my mom how refreshing it tasted on such a hot day.  When I stepped inside for a minute, I found giant puddles of liquid covering our kitchen floor and I thought for sure our refrigerator had finally run its last leg.  But when I opened the fridge door, I saw that the entire container of sun tea was empty. The handle had somehow flipped into the "on" position - resulting in sun tea in every nook and cranny of the fridge as well as puddling up on the floor.  Ugh!  My mom and dad quickly started helping me sop up the damage with rags.  And my dad even commented on how those containers just aren't made well.  In other words, they both let me save face.  No operator error here - this was obviously the container's fault!

At work this week, my colleague, Katie, and I proactively worked to let our coworkers save face as well.  We helped to coordinate a panel of partners to share their thoughts on networking.  We asked the 50 attendees to come prepared with questions or send them to us in advance.  We received a whopping one person's questions beforehand (thanks to that individual - you know who you are!).  We were greeted with a lot of silence throughout the session when we asked if people had any questions.  Luckily, Katie and I had prepared a list of questions in advance to spark conversation.  As a result, the panelists had plenty to talk about and the attendees were on the receiving end of some helpful information.

When searching for an image to accompany this week's principle, I came across this sign about kindness.  I think it sums up all of Dale Carnegie's principles in addition to #26.  My prayers are with many people right now who are fighting some immense battles in their lives.  So the next time an entire container of sun tea lands on your floor, remember that someone is fighting a much harder battle at that exact moment.  This week let's let the other person save face.  Or put more simply, let's just remember to be kind to each other.

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