Life is Like… Reality TV?

“If you treat your mind like a trash can, don’t be surprised when you reach for a thought and all you get is garbage.”

Zero Dean, Lessons Learned from The Path Less Traveled
The other day, I heard myself tell a funny story, and I had to laugh.

I was up on the farm, and this Amish guy, Levi, was working on our cabin. Actually, he was in the process of building it. As you may or may not know, the Amish culture has a different communication style between men and women, husband and wife. At times, Levi would overhear my wife and I having an argumentative conversation, and I would catch him smiling and turning away. It took me a few times to figure out what was going on and what was funny. There was one particular time Sook noticed him laughing. When she shot me a questioning look, I couldn’t resist and turned to Levi.

“Levi,” I said, “You may not know about this because, being Amish and all, you don’t have a television nor watch TV shows. But there is something called Reality TV, and people pay a lot of money to watch it. But YOU, my friend, are getting it for Free!”

thermostat adjustment

Adjusting the Temperature

Everyone had a laugh at that, and I decided to use it with my team at work. There are a lot of times and days when work can be a stressful environment. During one particularly difficult time, we were gathered together for a meeting, and I thought it might be a good time to adjust the team perspective.

“Hey, everyone, I know it’s been a stressful and frustrating week. I wonder how we could look at it from a different perspective?”

Being engineering-type people, everyone stared at me blankly without speaking, waiting for the catch. I waited until they got bored enough to talk about their experiences, and then I added this.

“Not meaning to demean what you’ve been through because I know it isn’t easy. Think of it like this… You get to star in a reality TV show called [name of corporation]. You cannot get this kind of entertainment on TV because you get to participate in it. And the best part is, you are getting paid for it!”

That elicited a laugh and broke the ice, and it did help people shake off the burdens of the day.

You can use this type of communication to help people experience a new attitude and perspective with just a subtle shift in thinking. All it takes is awareness of the situation and the ability to not jump into the fray.

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Authored by H Mark Taylor – An Independent Certified Coach, Teacher, Trainer, and Speaker with Maxwell Leadership Certified Team
Copyright © 2024 H Mark Taylor. All rights reserved.

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