Day 39: Turning the Magnifying Glass

I have been told that I am a good coach by the people that work for me (coach is the term we use for the people who are our direct reports).  I think what makes me good is that I see people's strengths and weaknesses and work to help them maximize what they are good at, while minimizing those areas where they are not strong.  In addition, I help them to understand why their strengths can cause them to be less tolerant of other's weaknesses and vice-versa)

I did not make up this method of coaching.  It's quite famous actually.  But it's one I find works incredibly well.

I was thinking about that last night in relation to two things in my own life, marriage and parenting.

Mike and I, like most married couples, argue about ridiculous things.  Shoes, dishes, dinner, laundry, money, checkbooks (yes, we still use one) bedtimes, playing with toddlers, tv selections, expectations, sex, and on and on and on.

I got seriously frustrated with him yesterday as the girls were playing in the pool outside and he was "supervising" them to death.  "Don't splash.  Don't go near the bushes.  Don't, don't, don't . . ."

When I asked him why he was upset with Shannay, he said, "She won't mind me."

Well, that part was true, and I totally agreed that she should obey him, I just was trying to "gently" (HA!) encourage him to adjust his expectations for HOW they should play.  (Seriously, we were arguing because he didn't want them to splash the water out onto the grass and I thought that was dumb.)

Anyway, later, as in 3 a.m. later, when he was getting up with Shannay who was having a bad dream and Nikki who was banging her head, I thought to myself, "He is so incredibly good with them in the middle of the night, and I seriously am not."

We have long known that I am not good in the middle of the night, and he is.  He was good in the middle of the night with the boys too.  It's a strength.  And then it hit me.  It's his strength!  Why can't I just be grateful that it is his strength and let him operate in it!  And why can't I be grateful that having reasonable expectations of how 3 year olds play is mine?  And then let's just both operate in our strengths, instead of focusing so damn much on our weaknesses all the time!

And then I thought about the million other things we argue about, and they are almost all centered around strengths and weaknesses. Imagine if I just turned my magnifying glass toward his strengths and quit magnifying his weaknesses?

All that to say, perspective is everything.

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