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Face First Made My Day

Ever been exhausted for a good reason. Spent the day dealing with people issues. Started with counselling a student over career options and summer jobs. Went to a meeting with the BP personnel who have been administering the oil spill claims in our area. Conducted a communications strategy with my four stakeholders, went through a DISC assessment with an entrepreneur and then went to community meeting with the same BP personnel.

Working with people is exhausting yet I strive on it. Today reminded me dealing with people is at least as important as knowing the right strategy or the best solution. Without good people skills many solutions never see the light of day.

What I saw reinforced over and over again was always put a face on the issue first. The players in these meeting had plenty of thorny issues to resolve yet the meetings went productively smoothly. Call it southern hospitality because most of the adversaries showed interest in other’s family, history or experiences. I spent more time talking to BP VP’s about their families, vacations, and college days than any of the important issues on the agenda.  Showing a genuine interest in the other person first  leads to better business negotiations.

BP is no longer this juggernaut intent on economically depriving the local businesses and not taking care of our environment. They are real people who woke up on side of bed charged with making things right. They go to work and try to do the right thing. Some days they get it right. Some days probably not. And some day I may wake up on that side of the bed.

Some issues remain and some assessments and plans need more clarification. Yet I know the next meetings will start with conversational updates on family, football teams, and fly fishing. And that makes my exhaustion well worth it.

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