Another "Shared Van" Adventure.
I suppose this could be a "Part II" of this post. I guess this is the sequel. Perhaps the proper title would be "The Shared Van Strikes Back" or "Shared Van II: Share Harder." At any rate, take a look at some of the things our van driver said to us in order to, I'm guessing, make us feel better...?
"They say I have to take a roll call." (Said after conversing via cell phone with his dispatcher)
"They say I have to wait until we get further out and they will tell me where I have to go and in what order." (Said after conversing via cell phone with his dispatcher trying to determine how he was going to make the stops for the van overflowing with people.)
"It's the day after a holiday, so that's why it's busier. That's my "Star Trek" logic, anyway." (Said after being asked, "Is it usually this busy on a Tuesday?")
What does every phrase above have in common?
They all take power, blame and responsibility away from the person speaking (in this case, our heroic van driver) and pass it on to someone else. Here, with the exception of the third statement, it is some ethereal, corporate individual that we will never know, but now may feel at odds with since, well they were trying to make our day horrible, apparently. This driver had no power.
Or did he?
He should have. He could have taken charge and said something like:
"In order to ensure I get everyone where they need to go and that you are all in the right place, I need to take roll call. I promise it won't hurt and will only take a second."
"As soon as we get a little further out, I'm going to touch base with our main office and determine the best order in which to get each of you to your final destination as soon as possible."
"Why are we busy? Well, it could be because it's the day after a holiday, but my guess is it has something to do with our service – we’re always busy!" (Said with a smile)
In effect, he's saying the same thing in these last three examples, but doesn't it feel different? If he had said this, we would have felt more like we were being taken care of and our needs were being considered. Unfortunately, because he gave up his power in the face of 12 frustrated passengers, we, naturally, became even more frustrated. Our mirror neurons kicked in and, feeling his own fear and frustration, we became more so.
So, what's the lesson and today's challenge? Never give up your power. Own it - whatever "it" is and take charge. You'll feel better and your coworkers, team, spouse, and kids will feel better too.