Be Excellent to Each Other. Everyday.
Back when we were in high school, my sister Sarah (pictured with our mom, above) and I decided to stay home one day and our mom forgot to call the school to clear it with them. The next school day we all had to go to the assistant principal's office to explain the situation. Our mom went in to Ms. Aguero's office by herself. This administrator was legendary for her surliness. We sat outside the office, a little afraid for our mother.
Twenty minutes later, our mom and Ms. Aguero emerged from the office, laughing and chatting like old friends. Sarah and I turned to each other in amazement. We knew our mom was good at talking with people, but we had no idea how skilled she actually was at communication.
Fast forward twenty years and I still think about this incident often. I know that had our mom entered that office with a different attitude, the result might have been much different. And at least for me, I would possibly have chosen a different field of study. Something other than words and communication.
Words have always been important to me. With words we can inspire and praise, we can scare and manipulate, we can choose to use our words for good. And I think we should.
One of my heroes, Dr. George J. Thompson, author of Verbal Judo wanted everyone to know about The Five Universal Truths:
1. All people want To be treated with dignity and respect.
2. All people want to be asked rather than being told to do something.
3. All people want to be told why they are being asked to do something.
4. All people want to be given options rather than threats.
5. All people want want a second chance when they make a mistake.
It's easy to lose sight of other people as people when dealing with them solely through the internet. Here, we don't see each other's non-verbal communication and when there is a chance for misinterpretation, misinterpretation tends to happen. I'm as guilty of this as anyone.
Working with the rest of the amazing support team, we see many interactions that are abusive, petty, and downright mean. I don't wish to focus on the negative.
The focus for this blog will be on success stories from my/our experiences on Chess.com, I hope to share with you some inspiring and hopeful interactions, stories, and wins, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant.
We can do so much good with our words. Why don't we?