You can be surprised by anyone at any time when you least expect it, but you can always gain something from the experience.
For more than fifteen years I’ve been doing troubleshooting contests for HVACR magazines. As a part of those contests, individuals who make the correct diagnosis of the problem presented have an opportunity to win a prize if their name is chosen in a drawing. In some cases, the prizes are provided by sponsors. In one particular situation, the sponsor wasn’t able to provide the listed prize, and, after several emails back and forth over an extended period of time with the individual who was waiting for his prize, I got a message that said…”Is this just for publicity or what?”
Uh….what? It was the first time I had ever been accused of lying to someone in print. I was surprised. Then, I remembered a fundamental philosophy, so I was able to gain something from the experience.
I remembered that if someone accuses you of something despicable or is suspicious that you might cheat them in some way, then you have just learned something about that person…if they had the opportunity to do something despicable or cheat someone else in some way, they would do it. It’s a simple philosophy, really. If a person thinks of others from a negative perspective, it clearly illustrates that they are capable of doing the same thing. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t think of such a thing in the first place.
So, even though I could have been insulted by a totally unwarranted, outrageous accusation, I went ahead and figured out a way to solve the situation. And, when I sent this person his prize, I made sure that receipt of the package would require a signature, because… well, because I had learned something about this person. And knowing the character of anyone you’re dealing with is valuable. It helps you to make the right decisions about what to do in any given situation.
Learn From Yesterday….Live For Today…..Look Forward To Tomorrow