Have you ever had one of those uncomfortable moments when you stop yourself from reacting badly, forcing yourself to think this is a teachable moment?
I better learn everything this moment wants to teach me?
In the last 30 days I have learned couple of lessons helping me to be a better Realtor, ultimately a better person. The first lesson I will share now. The second lesson in a follow-up post.
I serve as the President of a Bid-Whist Club. Bid-Whist is a popular card game in which there is a non-spoken communication between two partners. There are a total of four players with two sets of partners. Skill in the game grows from closely paying attention to the cards my partner plays, and when it is my turn to lead in play, I play the cards my partner has silently communicated to me to play by their previous action play.
This effort requires remembering what my partner has played, and remembering what cards have been played in general. This is a skill developed over time, lots of time invested in playing the game. Years of time invested in playing the game. I learned the game watching my parents, close relatives, and friends play the game at parties and social events from childhood.
In College I would study in the student recreation hall. Periodically I would lift my eyes up out of my books to observe my College-Mates playing the game. I would go to class, return to find them still playing the game. After a whole semester of watching this same group playing the game, one day I got the nerve to jokingly say to them do you ever go to class?
I got my answer the following year when I noticed a whole new group of students playing Bid-Whist.
I make this point to demonstrate how fun and addicting the card game. How I would be a much better player if I would have allowed myself to join in those games during my College years. I was too determined to graduate, then become the most sought after Bid-Whist Partner Imaginable.
Throughout my adult life playing the card game I love has been limited to occasional parties I’ve been invited to throughout the year where someone yells out who wants to play some cards.
This particular Bid-Whist club of which I am a devoted member has been in existence for probably 30 years. It comprises some Loved-Ones and others who have become like beloved Loved-Ones. I was granted the coincidences to observe the Club in card play, and how they lovingly interacted with one another at a couple of their Holiday Parties. It took me a whole year to yes to joining the club because I feared I might not handle well the emotional outbursts that can accompany the game, especially if directed at me.
Bid-Whist is a very emotional game. It reveals the emotional essence of people who in any other professional circumstance would keep hidden.
In other words, a make a mistake and your partner could very well “show-out” “come-out-of-a-bag” make everyone in the room know you do not want this person as your partner because they are a pitiful novice at the game. I call it the “character-builders of life!” This happens when people allow their emotions to get the best of them, and they “act-a-pure-fool” on you. It is also what I call a “thicken-your-skin-moment.”
As such due to my honest mistake, my partner at the time firmly scolded me at the end of a tournament game he felt we could have won had I followed his play leading me what to play when I won the lead play.
Mind you, this is someone I care about and I believe cares about me who treated me like I was the worst person on the planet in that moment in time. His scolding was so severe it cause our opponents to immediately correct him about poor sportsmanship.
There has always been a grace bestowed to me. When people act ugly with me the ugliness does not immediately penetrate me. I consider it a blessing because it has probably kept me out of visiting Heaven via Jail. This moment was a little different because I honestly believed I had played this competitive session as best I could with the cards dealt to me.
I thought this man does not realize I am well capable of leaping across this card-table and cracking some good sense upside his head. We had more tournament card games to play, so I had to stay cool, regain my focus, and prepare myself to try to better remember his card play, as well as, the cards played in the next game. I had to stay mindful I was in the company of very skilled players. Bringing anything less than my "A-Game" would be unfair to my partner.
Plus, I knew our opponents were watching for my reaction. For the sake of maintaining the reason they will not allow me to ever resign from my position as their Leader, I had to set a good example of proper sportsmanship, which required me to look beyond an individual’s all too human fault at the moment, to help them as my partner to quickly put this behind them to move forward on the next card play hand at hand.
While doing all of that I had to control my emotions to keep myself from reacting negatively. I simply said to him I am very sorry. What I wanted to say “Fool if you ever come out of a bag like that on me again I will make you wish you never knew me when I get though going upside your head while verbally laying your soul to rest, which I am very well cable of doing!” I wanted to just throw my cards down, get up, walk out the house, and away from the Club permanently like a spoiled child needing to spend some time in the corner back to everyone in time-out.
As the rational side of me began to gain control, I thought of the compliment he paid me. He trusted me to not lose my cool when he showed himself all too human.
I started thinking about why the Club wanted me to serve as their President, a job I seem to have as long as I remain a member of the club I fondly remind you.
I thought about how many times even my most Valued Clients have unloaded on me emotionally when they have given into the emotional stress I promised them would sneak up on them and surprise them.
That grace given me to not immediately react emotionally to them, knowing in time they would appreciate my staying calm, while helping them to refocus on priorities to stay on the path to their goal. Likewise, my Club Member card-playing partner let me know later that evening through his non-verbal actions all was cool with us. At the end of tournament play he continued to partner with me in further non-pressure games.
I am so grateful I have learned the value of self-talk.
I just told myself this is a teachable moment reminding me in my level of responsibility, I must always make the sacrifice to be the good example to always allow my rational thinking to be far stronger than my emotional thinking. Sometimes when I discover my potential Seller Clients are interviewing other Agents, I really dig into the realm of truth, helping them to appreciate the intangibles of life.
I tell them you need to look beyond all the marketing materials impressing you. What is more important is do you have someone who can handle you when you lose your cool. Someone who can refocus you to what really is important. Someone who can help all parties involved in the transaction think like a team, working in harmony to make the transaction a “Win-Win” for all parties involved. Someone who understands love is in the details.
Details like investing the time to make sure everyone involved is doing their job, mindful of timelines. Someone who resources everyone for you, and keeps the experience relatively calm for all, as the unmovable center of what priorities should be.
As I quietly fully analyzed my scolding, I thought this is really a gift, giving me material on to process how I can be a better Leader, a better card-playing partner, a better Realtor for all my valued clients!
Who would of thought, playing Bid-Whist card game could produce even greater communication skills. Now How Cool Is That?
Above is a link to learning everything there is to know about playing Bid-Whist.
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