Leadership Solutions from Read Solutions Group: I'll Try to Be There

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'll Try to Be There

Through the busy holiday season, I wonder how many times we hear, or say, “I’ll try to be there”.

The listener might think, “oh good, I’ll see them there”, especially if the listener is your child. The speaker may think, “I really want to be there, BUT I have to [fill in the blank].” Odds are that the person who will “try”, won’t be there. Perhaps the answer was an avoidance of saying no, of rejecting, or of creating disappointment. However, the listener is ultimately left with the no, the rejection and the disappointment, AND no explanation.

Sometimes the answer is a way to keep options open; as in, I’ll show up if nothing better comes up. The listener then gets to guess on what basis they have for being rejected when the speaker doesn’t show up.

Another approach is making “time” accountable for showing up or not – “If I can find time, I’ll be there”. Unfortunately, time is what it is; there can be neither more, nor less of it. The person who learns to “find time” has a secret worth millions. Well, maybe he meant, if he can “make time”. Oops, same problem, no magic formula for making time.

Instead, we might want to consider how the speaker will use the time he or she has. What are they committed to? Over work? Achievement? Accomplishment? Appearing overbooked? Avoiding parties? Avoiding confrontation? or just plain Commitment.

The reality is that we are committed to something every moment of every day. Even while taking a nap, we are committed to something. It could be resting, self-care, avoiding work, avoiding people, or preparing for the party ahead. We are committed to something.

The next time you catch yourself “trying”, take a moment to consider what your commitment might be.

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At 8:12 AM, Blogger Sherry said...

Reading the Dec 7, 2006 NY Times Online article on Online RSVP's, I just had to add a comment to my blog. Here's an excerpt about EVITE:

This is why so many people find the Evite “maybe” reply option so confounding.

“I don’t get the ‘maybe’ part,” said Morgan Dontanville, 33, of Brooklyn. “Are you so afraid of commitment you just can’t say yes? They should have ‘yes’ with an asterisk at the bottom saying ‘If you click here, you’re not obligated.’ ”

But for others, “maybe” is a godsend, a loophole that enables them to trade up at the last minute if they so desire. Ms. Winkel, who has received about 15 Evites so far this holiday season, said she definitely makes use of the “maybe” option, though as a host she is none too pleased when people on her guest list respond that way.

“I think that’s a total cop-out,” she said. “That doesn’t help me at all when I’m deciding how many jugs of tequila to buy.”

Maybe in the world of cyberspace is just another version of "I'll try...". Either way the question comes back to what are you committed to?


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