Despite the fact that Ros looked and felt like a woman in extreme pain, her hair was perfectly parted and brushed – the attention to detail provided me with some necessary insight.
Earlier this week, I engaged the certified West Australian gem valuer to help me hock the family jewels for start-up funds – but on meeting her, my professional interest turned personal.
One of life’s shadow boxers, Ros keeps her family-of-four together – surviving day-to-day; caring for her son, who can experience up to 1000 daily seizures through traumatic brain injury. Hence the exhaustion: she sleeps with Shaye to keep him alive…a mother’s love.
Before I arrived, Ros sent specific instructions as to location and parking – giving me pause. Usually people who seek such order, invariably have a significant part of their lives completely spiralling out of control.
The trick for Earthlings, is to gather the facts so we don’t rush judgement – and we will always judge…it’s human nature. Anyone who tells you not too, is misguided.
So how does one generate compassion in the workplace – when your back’s to wall and it’s all you can do, not to tell people to fuck off and leave you alone when you’re under the pump too?
People teach you about people, including yourself – so for me, the only real question in life is ‘why’? Because to know where someone comes from is the key to understanding and acceptance – which leads directly to compassion.
I use a neuro-linguistic programming technique called perceptual positioning. NLP has become so popular that NASA use the science to design instrument panels.
And businesses like Oracle, IBM, American Express, Apple, Xerox, Mercedes, BMW, etcetera use the technique to improve communication, build teams and increase productivity.
In 2001, FBI’s Law Enforcement Bulletin August issue commented, ‘enhancing communication and, hence, building rapport represents the most applicable aspect of NLP to investigators.
‘The ability to communicate effectively stands as one of the major contributors to a police officer’s success in dealing with the public.’
The beauty of perceptual positioning is that it imbibes the adage – walk a mile in someone’s shoes, by tapping into your imagination.
The three positions are first, second and third – the first, being the easiest as ‘self’, whereby one sees, hears and feels from their perspective.
It’s a powerful position to know oneself, to have emotional granularity and act in accordance with personal beliefs – but there is danger in the untenable position of attempting to remain an island.
The second position relates to values and beliefs of another that cause them to act in cultural accordance. Again, a powerful position to visit – because the danger in remaining here, is to ignore the systems that drive you.
The final position is markedly different, in that, it’s completely rational: to be experienced with no emotion. The observer detaches, like a fly on the wall, to perceive the communication and behaviourism of both parties thus conducting a logical situational analysis.
And it works. Many years ago, I had a manager suffering obesity who sought control by micromanaging employees – an incredibly frustrating situation for all parties. I recognised him for exactly who he was and understood his pain – because I too, was once an overeater.
Everyone was oblivious to his trauma, so I actively worked against the negative press – because that’s the job. As human beings, we must generate our care-lens and the care-lens of counterparts, so that we grow the compassion required to accept and help each other. We are all that we have, in the end.
My grandad had it in spades, when the Commanding Officer of 2/6 Cavalry Commando charged a minefield during the Battle of Bardia, Egypt between 3-5 January 1941 – flanking the enemy in the newly mechanised reconnaissance regiment, with a machine gun to protect his men.
And how they loved him for it – this solider’s solider. The original light horseman was awarded the Military Cross for his actions, and backed up his professional love again, to protect his Farida Force troops in Papua New Guinea – again awarded for courage under fire, the Distinguished Service Order.
But Lieutenant Colonel Eric Claude Hennessy was ahead of game. Although described by To the Green Fields Beyond author Shawn O’Leary as a ‘man who was made for war’ – Hennessy proved something all warriors know.
That it’s not about you or me – it’s about us. Love actually does makes the world go round. So who can you reach out to, and help today? I’ll give you a hot tip: it’ll make the both of you feel good…like the humans that you are.