Today, try giving one of the other humans on this planet, a piece of your heart rather than a piece of your mind. You've been graciously given peace in knowing that God will work everything out for the good. Honor Him by passing along His peace rather than words meant to be biting and hurtful.
At a previous job, I was on the phone with a client trying to explain the new portal login system for their secure documents. It was a classic struggle between age and technology and no matter what I said, I just couldn't get them to understand the concept. Normally, I'm great at customer service and I've been frequently told that my professionalism is top notch but this conversation was erroding my friendliness and civility. The client's frustration escalated and he eventually lost his patience. He demanded to speak with the person who implemented this new program.
Truth be known, my employer gave me the project, asked me to research it, set up the procedure then after his approval, I was asked to go through the process of working with the clients who were still having difficulty logging in even after reading the detailed letter of explanation. Because the client had "talked down" to me and thought that I had little to no authority, I took great pleasure in pointing out that I was the one who was given charge over this easy-to-use system and very few clients were having this much difficulty. I suggested that we should start from the beginning and I would explain it again.
After the client was set up with the new login, I was fuming over the exchange but really satisfied that I had held my own. A coworker and dear friend leaned against my desk and asked about my phone conversation. After I explained what he said to match the words she had heard from me, she said something I won't forget. "You don't want to be right, you want to prove them wrong."
At first I balked at what she told me because I felt like was the first person to admit when I'm wrong or when I don't understand something. I said, "That's not true! I often take the blame for other people's screw ups just to save the peace." She looked at me sternly and continued by saying, "This is different. It was more important for you to prove them wrong, than to be kind.
Her words stung, but I needed to hear them. This event happened at least three years ago but it has the same impact on me today as it did then. Being right isn't all that's its cracked up to be and proving someone wrong has a completely different impact on the situation. In this instance the client was probably feeling insecure over new technology and receiving instruction from someone who was behaving a little condescending was intimidating. Kindness would have diffused the situation and the client might have been inclined to offer referrals after a positive experience.
It's one thing to be right. Another to prove someone wrong.
But the better choice all around would be to be kind.
Seeds to Share
Proverbs 15:1 - A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 17:27 - He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.