The other morning, I spent a few hours with my boss reviewing details about a talk she’s giving in a few weeks. As always, we started the conversation with more personal things. She’d just come back from a trip to China, and I was a little overwhelmed with apartment stuff. In fact, she knew exactly how overwhelmed because the week before she coached me about how to work with our realtor – from half way around the world!
When I told her about a particularly frustrating experience of being stood up for an appointment and then being shown units that didn’t fit our criteria at all (after listing everything we’re looking for), she just looked at me. And then she said, “I’m about to share a life lesson with you. Do you know what good looks like in this particular situation?” And I said, “Yeah. I want someone who is responsive, holds up to his/her end of the bargain, remembers our criteria, and coaches us a little through this process.” My boss then went on to say that if I know what good looks like and I’m not seeing it, I need to make a tough call and “fire” our current realtor.
[This did end up happening and probably deserves its own post. I’m not very good at having “crucial” conversations. I think I did ok though.]
The takeaway of the lesson is that when it comes to situations where we know exactly what we want and need, we have to define a vision of what “good” is and not settle for anything less.
After thinking about this “life lesson” for the rest of the day, I came to realize that by keeping quiet and not nipping situations in the bud (in a very nice way), everyone loses. It’s ok to know what you want and only expect results that match what “good looks like” for you…it’s called quality control. This doesn’t make you mean. It makes you real.
When was the last time you had to “fire” someone?