A Lesson From the Animal Kingdom

What you see and hear in this video is a bird insisting there isn’t a window between them and the inside of my office. And, despite what is likely a painful result that gets them no closer to where they want to end up, the effort continues. Thwack…thwack…thwack. And so on.

Last week, a client called in a fit of frustration with a direct report. “Drew, I just don’t know what to do anymore. She just doesn’t get it. How do you make someone understand they need to change?!” I went to a basic question: “Have you talked with her about it?”

“TALKED WITH HER? Drew, do you have any idea how many times I’ve talked with her? It’s reached the point where I’m sick and tired of talking with her….it does no good….”

(I wish I had a dollar for every time the next sentence is uttered)

“I’ve told her the same thing over and over and over again and she keeps making the same mistakes! What’s wrong with her?”

My question for you: Is there any place in your work, family, or daily life where, in search of a change, you’re banging your proverbial beak against the glass pane? Are you blaming the pane?  

That’s something a bird might do. If they could blame. But they can’t. They’re birds.

If you’re finding yourself in a repetitively frustrating situation, release the blaming, step back and seek a behavior or action that can take you and potentially those around you in a different direction.

My advice to the client described above was to overtly change how she was communicating—in both words and tone—and see what the outcome might be.

As the writer Wayne Dyer said: “When you start to change the way you look at things, the things you’re looking at start to change.”

Thwack, thwack, thwack…

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