Noooo. I’m not watching Dr. Phil!! I’m…uh…watching a rerun of the Oklahoma/Nebraska college football game from 1973!!
Ok, ya caught me…as comedian Ron White would say, “Ya caught The Tater.”
I had recorded Monday’s Dr. Phil episode because Julie Morgenstern, a time-management and organization specialist I like, was going to be on the program and I thought I’d learn something…which I did…but not from Morgenstern, who was on for about 5 seconds.
The show was about two couples having significant challenges finding time for themselves because they have so many family responsibilities. In one couple the guy was simply an immature dope and wouldn’t help his wife clean up around the house. The other couple had ten kids (which tells me they found a LOT of time for themselves but were only doing one thing with it) and organizing their home was like managing the 101st Airborne being deployed.
Here’s the first thing I learned: Couples relationship research shows the first four minutes you spend together when you encounter each other sets the tone for what the rest of the time will be like. So, when you come home at the end of the day you need to be sure and make the first four minutes positive. If the first thing you’re doing when you walk in the door is complain the probability that the rest of the time ain’t gonna be good is pretty high.
I’m thinking the logic may work at work, too. Without being too literal on the four minutes limit I’m thinking that if one of the first things you do when you get to work is say “hello” in a positive way and catch someone doing something right it may start your day and their day off in positive ways.
Here’s the second thing I learned (and yes, it’s a cliché and we’re all supposed to know this, but not enough of us do it): For a relationship to be successful, whether work or personal, each person has to spend some time learning what the other person wants out of the relationship. Then, again, if it matters to each person that the relationship be successful, they each need to negotiate getting what they want. It might be an easy negotiation if each agrees, “Oh, you want that? Ok, I’ll do it.” Or, it could be a stretch, “Oh, you want THAT?” “Uh, mmmm….ok, I’ll need to think about it a little.”
Either way is ok because it gets the parties communicating and working together.
And here’s something I re-learned in the last 48 hours, and I didn’t learn it from Dr. Phil: It’s the working together part that matters.