This past weekend I had a “run-in” with my neighbor. I went looking for the fight.

Have you ever had that happen to you personally or in your professional life?

The story goes like this…….she came out and yelled at my girls for using her mailbox as “base” while playing whiffle ball in the street, and then decided to kick my daughter’s cup off her lawn. After many years of being frustrated with this neighbor for various (very legitimate, in my mind, reasons) I rang her doorbell and we had words.

I am not proud to say I yelled, I stomped around, my neck got all veiny and red and finally I stormed away from her while I was still yelling. I couldn’t even hear her response to my frustrations because the blood pulsing through my ears drowned out everything that she could possibly have said. I felt entirely righteous in my anger. I was under the firm belief that she was being unreasonable AND she messed with my kid!!!!!!!

After I came home and calmed down, I sat in my front room and reflected on MY behavior. I ended up writing her an apology letter. Yelling gets us nowhere. When we are angry and our blood is boiling, we can’t possibly know or hear the other side of the story. Steven Covey says to seek first to understand, then to be understood. I certainly did not do that. All I knew what that I was right and she was wrong, end of story.

The whole reason I am sharing this story is that she returned her own letter (I know hand written notes, can you even imagine?!). She explained to me her side of the story. There was so much going on in her head that I couldn’t possibly know about or understand. She had an entirely different perspective about the situation for many reasons. What a great lesson it was for me to hear and understand that different perspective when I was no longer angry and could hear it.

Do you need to think about that in your business? Is there a different perspective that you need to consider, when you get out of your own head and really look at it from someone else’s point of view.

It changes things. It causes growth!! Isn’t that what business/life is about? Take a moment and think about it. You will probably not change your mind about your stance, but at least you can see the perspective of the other party involved.