Three strikes and the fury’s out!

23 04 2015

“Beware of him that is slow to anger; for when it is long coming, it is the stronger when it comes, and the longer kept.  Abused patience turns to fury.” ~Francis Quarles

I like it!  How to avoid abusing patience and getting the fury is the question.  I’d suggest that one good way is to listen well.  In certain parts of the country (not NYC, where people tend to be very direct, but further south), you are likely to find yourself working with subtle Gentlemen & Women.  Some of these folks might very indirectly give a criticism of something that you did or didn’t do.  Their displeasure might be communicated subtly, so as not to offend too badly.  These folks might have a real problem with something you or your team did, and are indeed trying to let you know about their displeasure.

In other situations, you just might not be listening well when someone is trying to vent their displeasure to you in a professional matter.  It’s critical that you both LISTEN and HEAR when your customers, peers and other stakeholders are trying to do you the favor of telling you what you could be doing better.  If you don’t listen, hear, and internalize their displeasure the first time, then you’re not fixing anything, and they’re likely to tell you again.  Not reacting to their concerns multiple times creates a situation where, to you, they just “blew their top”.  To them, they got fed up of trying to communicate politely, and finally unleash fury & frustration.  You want to avoid fury?  Listen carefully early.

Speaking as one who is very slow to anger, and who has unleashed fury on a few RARE occasions, it’s a whole lot easier for both of us if you listen to, and hear me the first or second time, because 3 strikes and the fury comes out.   J  Speaking of slow…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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