In a twist that was very unexpected, the issue that I previously wrote about with regard to the city of Charlotte and yard waste was resolved quite peacefully. Thanks in large part to the communication skills of some city employees.
While I was absolutely furious at receiving the “violation” letter, this story ends with me having quite pleasant phone calls with two men who are city employees. I would have been an excellent litigator and am always ready to show up for a debate; I can use words quite effectively. My ex used to tell customer service reps that they really “don’t want me to put my wife on the phone with you.”
Anyhow, during this morning’s conversations, it was helpful that they were both willing to acknowledge that there has been a lack of effective communication from the city. As well as the absurdity of the times we are living in right now.
There is a tremendous amount of collective anger in the air (that I can feel), and it would have been very easy for me to tap into it and channel it toward people. Instead, I chose to be willing to have a conversation. Granted, I have flipped people off in multiple parking lots lately…could you all seriously get the hell out of my way?
Both men that I spoke with this morning were great communicators and one ended up chatting with me for quite a while. Both also shared the sentiment that “we’re doing the best we can.” At which point I leaned against my car, sighing, and internally recognizing: we all are.
It also helped tremendously that each was willing to express that they were as surprised as I was to witness the deep lack of congruence in messages being shared by the city right now.
I could have chosen to channel fury and anger at these humans, who are simply showing up and doing their jobs to the best of their ability. Both of them being willing to admit to not knowing, and feeling uncertain how to navigate current circumstances…made them much easier to relate to.
It also helps that both told me to leave the damn yard waste at the curb; which was my plan all along. I didn’t spend the time and energy to get it there just to remove it.
Effective communication is something that not all people navigate easily, and with challenging conversations it gets even harder to embrace. I can very much appreciate the fact that both of these men were willing to show up and communicate with a clearly upset woman. Both also acknowledged understanding and appreciation of the fact that I was upset.
We always have a choice as to how we show up in the world. I absolutely have moments of anger, rage, and fury. I also have moments where I choose to let that fall away and simply connect with another person; I’m certainly more proud of the moments when I choose connection, but real life is messy and I don’t always make that choice.
In my real estate experience, communication is the number one issue I point to as a challenge. I’ve co-brokered with exceptional communicators…and those who are not so skilled. My favorites have always been those who know how to show up and talk. Communication is essential to so much of human connection, and even with writing, the aspect of communicating is non-negotiable.
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