I was at a gym recently on an elliptical.
At the entrance there is a table with sign up sheets for various machines. People reserve their space in advance a week at a time. On that particular day, there was no sign up sheet for Monday. There was a sheet for other days, but not for Monday.
What took place for the next 20 minutes was humorous, but illustrated a great principle.
Half a dozen gym members debated the missing sign up sheet:
Maybe Monday is a holiday.
It’s not a holiday that should affect the gym.
No, it’s not a holiday.
There may be an error
No, because they have Tuesday and Wednesday
I bet they’re saving that day for something special
Yea but they usually put a sign on the door
And what about us regulars?
It’s probably a private party.
I hate when they do that.
Has it happened before.
I think so.
It’s not fair.
We should complain.
After 20 minutes of similar dialogue, one wise person said, “I’ll just go ask.”
She did. It was a clerical error. Problem fixed. Problem solved. In a matter of minutes.
Unfortunately, I see this kind of thing all the time in leadership and life. Even in families and other relationships.
- Rather than complain
- Rather than make up your own scenario
- Rather than stir gossip
Sometimes, all you need to do is ask.
Especially in relationships…relationships of all kinds…when it involves people…when miscommunication or misunderstanding is possible…and it always is…