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Reflections on the day I upset a fellow LinkedIn professional.

The other day, as I was finishing work, a post popped up on my LinkedIn feed about the rising cost of insurance. It made me laugh out loud and so I shared it. 

As I was sharing it, the thought occurred to me that well, at least Trainers’ Library customers don’t need to worry about their subscription costs going up (thanks to our no price increase guarantee). So, I amended my post to add a comment to this effect and, without giving it another thought, closed my computer down.

I’d settled down to watch House of Games a few minutes later, when I noticed a message on LinkedIn, and immediately after that an email from the original post’s creator.

A thank you for the share?

On the contrary, the author was extremely angry that I’d reposted their video with the comment that promoted Trainers’ Library and was instructing me in no uncertain terms to remove my post.

His response initially surprised me as I’d simply taken the post at face value as a piece of satire particularly as, to the best of my knowledge, the author neither offers insurance services, nor promises not to put his own prices up in the face of rising costs. 

But the tone of the messages made it clear that I had provoked an unexpected emotional reaction. 

It was a useful reminder of the need to sometimes pause, take a step back and try to see your behaviours through the lens of the other person. Of course, that’s not always easy, particularly if, as in this case, you don’t know the other person. Or when emotions are running high - as they appeared to be for one of us. Which is why it’s also useful to review your behaviours through a third neutral lens. It’s sometimes called the ‘fly on the wall’. What would your behaviour look like to those behind the camera of a fly on the wall documentary, or to the audience at home?

Through this lens it’s easy to see how my sharing of the post could be viewed differently, particularly if, as I suspect, the author doesn’t have a clue what I do and wrongly assumed because we’re both ‘in training’, we’re in competition. (As Trainers’ Library customers will know, the reality is we support both freelance trainers and internal training teams and work hard to bring the two together.)

Ironically perhaps, we have dozens if not hundreds of training activities in Trainers’ Library that look at the importance of being aware of different perspectives on the same situation, from easy to run icebreakers like A Different View and Seeing Things Differently, through to negotiation and sales activities like Island of Opportunity and Doctor in the House, to activities that consider the different perspectives on change, like Passengers, and team building games like Aquatic Experience

Perhaps it’s time I reviewed some of these as a reminder to self.

(P.S. Two of the images in this Insight come from our free image directory, which you can find here.)

March 12 2024Rod Webb

Rod Webb

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