Last week, I happened to be in Turks and Caicos when Irene hit the island. From midnight last Monday until about noon Wednesday, we were confined to our rooms and brought in food and water. We could see and hear Irene and I must say, it was the loudest I had heard mother nature.
Once Irene passed, there was obvious damage to the resort. In addition, much of the local staff could not get to work, so many of the little things—like room cleaning—did not happen until Thursday. That day, the General Manager spoke to everyone as a group and there were some people who were quite upset. There was some yelling and screaming. The GM was trying to be nice, but he stood his ground firmly as I imagined he had to in front of his staff, other guests, and perhaps for some legal reasons too.
There certainly were things that could have been done better but it was clear that they tried their best and had not gone through anything like this themselves. I had my own issues with a few items, but after watching all the folks vent, I stayed calm and remembered some sage advice from a mentor many years ago. He said, ”If you want to win a fight, take your opponent to a place where he can afford to lose.”
I had not thought of this in years and for some reason, I saw the GM in front of all us in a place where he could not afford to lose. So I waited till Friday, made an appointment with him and asked specifically to meet him in his office for 15 minutes. I also asked to meet him in private so that no one else would be there. The conversation lasted 20 minutes, and I got what I wanted. It worked. He was in a place now that he could afford to “lose.”
This week, I imagine many of you will have encounters with others, personal or professional, where a figurative “battle” needs to be waged. You may have a difference of perspective, ideas, actions – I invite you to take your “opponent” to a place where they can afford to lose, especially if you feel very strongly about your position.