Long Division

I was never too good at Math.

One aspect that confounded me was long division. Ending up with a remainder and still having the right answer somehow felt like cheating. I didn’t think there should be any unfinished business. A remainder? C’mon.

I know, not sound logic, like I said – not my strong suit.

Round numbers, clean results, no remainders, if it were only that simple right?

When I get in heated situations or when it’s been a day and I let my defenses down, sometimes I’ll say or do something I wish I didn’t.

Hopefully, I’m not alone in this.

Recently I went to a leadership seminar and when we discussed managing conflict, I told my group the most important lesson I’ve learned (through trial and error) was to respond with kindness.

Another group member spoke up and said, their most important thing was to first do nothing.

Don’t respond.

Do nothing.

This allows the space for a proper plan to develop.

It could look like cutting a conversation short, saying you need time to think, whatever it is – it’s better than what was about to happen!

I liked this so much, so I added some steps to it and posted it where I can easily see it.

Here’s how I see this playing out for me:

Refrain – Do nothing. No matter how much I might want to, leave it alone.

Reflect – What just happened? Take a while to go over the details – review the evidence.

Respond – With kindness (I still think this is the way to go) even if it’s a response that contains some harsh truth or maybe an apology.

Remain – Be confident and stick to what I know is right. Don’t second guess. If new information presents itself and I need to alter my course, fine, but I need to be good with my choice.

For me, the toughest part of this process isn’t the first step, it’s the last one.

I need to be okay with unfinished conversations or unresolved issues.

Sometimes there isn’t a tidy conclusion.

At 33 I’m finally embracing this whole concept of remainders.

Still awful at long division.

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