I’m sitting here at my desk, and one of my end users wanders into my cubicle gripping a few sheets of paper in her hand. She smiles and says good morning. I’m not actually on the clock right now, as my day doesn’t officially being for another 30 minutes. Right away I know that this is either a problem that has just been discovered or a complaint that requested work is not moving at a pace that she’s happy with. Either way, I know it’s coming; a complaint masked with the elegance of broad smile and a pleasant morning greeting.
Just as I suspected, a report that needs to be changed is the topic of her interest, and as a professional courtesy to me, she’s here, standing in my office space to pass on a friendly reminder that it needs to be done. She’s only here to make sure that I haven’t forgotten, which by the way, I haven’t. Her project request is scheduled, and scheduled before the 50 other current projects that I have that are outstanding.
Funny thing is, I’m not upset about it. Not one iota.
Because one of my many functions in this position is to assist end users in any way that I can. This reminder is not delivered out of spite or frustration. It’s a business need, and while this project is taking much longer to deliver than I would like, there is nothing I can do to expedite it since I only have one software developer, who by the way, is currently engaged in a project that could have legal ramifications for the company if it is not finished.
Reflecting on this, I realize that despite her unnecessary reminder, it’s better to handle things with compassion and grace. It’s better to see the world from a different perspective and try to cultivate an understanding. I could have taken her reminder as an insult. I could have easily gotten pissed off, and responded to her rudely, but what would that achieve? Instead, I chose to listen to her concerns, and communicate to her that what she needs is important to me.
I think that is what most people need; to feel valued.