Your Call Is Important to Us

That’s the caring message I got when I rang customer service at my cell provider last week. 

And, I felt important, too…right up until I was disconnected. Oof!

To be fair, being present for others when there’s a problem isn’t always easy for any of us. 

In fact, when we disagree, or we’re angry, or overwhelmed, or just not happy with that other person, it can be really hard. And, like my cell company, we can “drop the call” and blunder regrettably.

So, here’s a practice I find helpful: 

Before that difficult conversation, bring to mind Deepak Chopra’s Four A’s of a Compassionate Heart

  1. Attention: Show up, and be a good listener.

  2. Acceptance:    Accept others for who they are, and advise only when asked.

  3. Appreciation: Recognize the good that others do (even small things).

  4. Affection:        Care about them (they’re just as complex and flawed as we are).

Then let the Four A’s focus and guide you to be productively present when it matters most.

In the best case, you solve a problem, make a connection, build some trust.  

In the worst case, you treat someone with dignity, without sacrificing your own.

Happy August.