We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees” – of course, meaning that sometimes we’re too close to our problems and can’t see the solutions because we can’t be objective. The video below pokes fun at the differences between men and women. But it also contains wisdom, not only about “one-size-fits-all” solutions, but about both sides listening and trying to rectify a situation instead of letting it go on unnecessarily and just “dealing” with it – continuing to stress both parties.
Looking at the comments posted on this video, the obvious points are:
- Women claim that men never listen to them, or that they want to “fix things” rather than just listen, which is sometimes all a woman needs
- Men feel that women bury their heads in the sand, rather than addressing and correcting the situation
I believe there’s a little bit of ALL of this going on… for both men and women. But it can be insulting (and sometimes actually dangerous), to stereotype people and behave in a certain manner, just because of the way we believe some act.
For example, I had a medical condition that caused me to visit 5 doctors in a year-and-a-half. None could figure out what it was, and the last one (a woman!) told me it was all in my head and said, “You’d better get some help, sweetheart!” Simply because no one could find the problem (and many doctors believe that women who complain of abdominal pain are merely suffering from stress, lack of attention from their significant other, or another related ailment), she dismissed me, insulted me, and sent me packing.
It turns out that surgery I’d had over 20 years prior had caused a bowel obstruction in my small intestine (due to the talcum powder that coated the surgical gloves, which had sifted into the wound during surgery and mixed with my bodily fluids to form a sort of “paste” – by the way, they now use talcum-free gloves). It took 20 years, but it finally “glued” my intestine shut in two places! Only when I became so ill that I had to be hospitalized, and an MRI was performed, did the problem become clear.
Of course, there are times when there is no obvious problem and no easy solution… and sometimes the “nail” is that someone just needs to vent. On the flip side, there are times when there is an obvious problem, but no one wants to admit what it is. Sometimes the “fix” is too painful, or people don’t want to admit they missed something that obvious (or were wrong), or they just don’t see the problem because they’re too close to it.
But, there’s a reason for the pain in our head, or the disengagement of our employees, or the mass exodus of our people.
Is it time for you or your organization to “find the nail” and fix the situation, so you can move forward to alleviate the symptoms and their consequences? Maybe it means beginning with small steps, such as taking time to listen to someone who needs a sympathetic ear; perhaps it means acknowledging people’s efforts and letting them know that someone notices and appreciates them; or maybe it’s deeper and a heart-to-heart conversation is needed to help someone recognize an issue and move toward correcting it.
I heard a great quote by an unknown author: “There are always two choices, two paths, to take. One is easy, and its only reward is that it’s easy.”
Do we really want to do things because they’re easy… or do we want to do things because they’re worth it? Take some small steps today to identify and correct the issues within your power, and you will facilitate the move from creating “OWs” to creating “WOWs” for yourself and everyone around you. It may not be easy, and all issues may not be corrected overnight, but every effort toward greater understanding and respect will definitely be worth it.