dust boatman view thought





fixin’ a hole    



and it occurred to me, maybe the problem is not them…


We are relationships, not statistics.  More important than factoids, like one in ten are left-brain, is how you and I relate one on one.  It does not matter so much where my brain is located, as long as it is in there somewhere, and I use it. 


I had a great job one time.  I worked for a friend of my father who ran a vending company.  He had an oversized two-car garage that never saw a car.  The garage was the official shop, with a good assortment of workbenches, candy and cigarette machines to fix, pool tables to recover and juke boxes to clean.  I walked a mile to my job in paradise. 


I listened to records near full volume on the Wurlitzer as I fixed and patched and cleaned the various vending machines.  My world buzzed in comfort and joy with great music and all the caffeine and sugar soft drinks I wanted.  At the time, I could name that tune in one second. 


One of my favorite records still today is Joe South

and The Believers singing “Walk A Mile In My Shoes”. 

The lyrics are so Old Testament. 

You can almost see Joe walking down from the mountaintop with the tablets.



“If I could be you and you could be me for just one hour

If we could find a way to get inside each other’s mind


If you could see you through my eyes instead of your ego

I believe you’d be surprised to see that you’d been blind


Well your whole world you see around you is just a reflection

And the law of common says you’re gonna reap just what you sow


So unless you’ve lived a life of total perfection

You’d better be careful of every stone that you should throw


Yet we spend the day throwin’ stones at one another

Cause I don’t think or wear my hair same way you do


Well I may be common people but I’m your brother

And when you strike out and try to hurt me it’s a hurtin’ you


Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes

Yeah, before you abuse, criticize and accuse

Walk a mile in my shoes.” 


Joe South and the choir deliver this sermon like they believe it. 

Right on, brother Joe.


Conflict among people is an ages old thorn in the human condition.  Resolution often charts as one step forward and two steps back.  Looking around the world and our own back yard, nobody appears to have all the answers we need.  We pick up a few hints from others and through our own trial and error life experience. 


Conflict in nature causes stormy conditions and temperatures to rise the same as it does in people.  It is a condition of life and of business.  Healthy discontent can challenge us to approach difficult scenes differently.  We can be less abrupt and avoid hurting feelings, and protect our own.  Our goal is to resolve the issues while preserving civil relationships.  Open your mind and heart to explore why different people see different things differently, the same as you and me. 


Rudyard Kipling “met a little elf man one day down where the lilies grow. 

He asked him why he was so small, for they are small you know. 

He looked at me and with his eyes, he saw me through and through. 

I am no more small for me, said he, than you are big for you.”   


By comparison, you are only as different from me, said me, as I am different from you. 

You are not going to change me.  It is not your job.


You can manipulate emotions and facts as you like.  I think honesty, as humbling as it may be at times, is a best practice.  We are going to have conflict.  Honesty is welcome here.  Be prepared for honesty you may not agree with.  Resist judging someone’s honesty as not rational or not logical.  Most times it is not.


Nobody is right if everybody is wrong.  Try approaching conflict as an opportunity for others to learn.   


Facts are what we want.  Clearly define the issue in simple factual terms.  Bigger problems need to be broken down to workable pieces.  Work with one piece at a time.  Keep your balance.  Look at the conflict, not the person.  You want to depersonalize the problem.  Keep the issues separate from the individuals involved. 


Communication skills are often tested to the hilt in conflict resolution.  Keep your volume level, and the air conditioner level, on low cool.  Listen carefully to what others say, be sure everyone is on the same problem.  Rephrase what you hear to check for understanding.  Do not rush the process, but look for cues to move forward.  Conceding on a point less important to you may be a dealmaker for someone else. 


Some happy win-win is not the goal.  Moving your agenda forward is a job that needs to be done; getting what you want remains the goal.  Happy is nice.  Happy all the time is a high expectation.   




dust boatman view thought