What should you do next?

The things we talk about at home with our kids are universally true and transfer to most other relationships at work and everywhere.  This is the premise of our blog and the things we discuss at injustamoment.  Simple things enrich our lives and our relationships.  We like to say it is simple, but still very hard to have healthy rich relationships.

We do things in our home that we call the Talbot Way.  The Talbot Way is discussed most when kids are young, but the value is lifelong.  Our three youngest boys give us a lot of opportunities to teach about the Talbot Way.

The Talbot Way has to do with what Talbots do.  They refer to the qualities attitudes and traditions of our family from silly to important.  Some examples includes treating others like you want to be treated, going to Church and Sunday School, eating the crust on your pizza, frugality and more.

One example of a “Talbot Way” is to ask the question in the subject of this message:

“What should you do next?”

This question is asked most often when someone knowingly misbehaves.  Some examples might include blaming someone else for their own poor choice, not doing a responsibility, or arguing with their sibling.  We get often discover these qualities (and many more) in the behavior of our three boys ages 9, 11, and 12.

When we see these behaviors we ask, “What do you do next?”

The kids answer, “Make a good choice,” not always in a happy voice.

Then we ask, “When should you make a good choice?”

The kids (hopefully) answer, “Right away.”

This is a simple lesson for life.

How much time and energy is spent trying to cover up a mistake or a poor choice?

Yesterday Rob sent out an email to the trustees of his board and all his board community standing committee members.  The email had a number that was wrong.  The error was a difference to the negative of his original content.  The message went out to over 20 influential and important people for Rob’s job!  You never want this sort of thing to happen because it can damage your credibility and influence.  We all need to be reliable and trustworthy when we speak and act.

It would have been possible to shift the blame, make an excuse or irrationally deny the mistake, but Rob needed to make a right choice as soon as possible.  The next morning as soon as he found the mistake he started a new email to fix clear up the mistake.

As soon as the corrected email was sent Rob felt relief .  The relief allowed him to appropriately shift his attention and efforts to the next issue at hand.  It still felt bad to have made the mistake, but hopefully his corrected email will move him toward repairing the damage.

In the end we can’t control the thinking of others.  We can only control our choices.

Rob had a good day and his conscience was clear he made a good choice.  It was so much better than ruminating on what to do or what others might think.  It is possible there are other better choices that he could have made, but perfection is not needed.  Making any good choice will always be better than another poor choice to cover up the problem or procrastination.

What should you do next?

Make a good choice – right away.

stop think decide