Stories from my Past: Wearing someone down

I often wonder if change happens more because we wear someone down, than convince them of the truth of the argument.

I was in charge of upgrading peoples software at a company and it was easier to go around for the small number of people and manually install it. So one person I had problems with. He didn’t want to do it, and I just continued to return throughout the week asking for a good time to install it. He shot me down, over and over again. I kept asking. Eventually on Friday afternoon he let me do it, and I was thrilled to get him done.

I know that he just wanted me to stop showing up more than the benefit of the new software. Some people don’t care about new software which is fine, but when everyone has the same version of software it makes things easier in companies. So even though he might not find value in the new version, other people would in sharing information with him so he had to be upgraded.

What is interesting is how often people who hate change, grow to love the change. I told him that it would be faster and some people said it was easier to use. Of course he will be slower at first, but in time he will be faster. Its ok if a short term slowdown causes a long term benefit.

To me, new software is just part of life. It is just part of the cycle of the progress of technology. It seems crazy to me not to want new software, just like not wanting new technology. New things tend to be improved, and often you find easier ways of doing things.

For example, the Office 2016 software he got has a better way to share files with people with OneDrive. I am not crazy about OneDrive, but for people who have never used online file sharing, it is a good first step. I have suggested other and better things, but you have to start somewhere with people.

Wearing someone down can create progress, just do it respectfully and at their own pace.

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Stories from My Past: Surprise people with kindness

Often we have opportunities for kindness each day, we just have to follow through.

Once I was working at a place and a pregnant woman was standing in the hall. She was talking with coworkers and I went past her a few times working on different issues. Finally it occurred to me that she had been standing in the hall awhile, and I noticed the last time I passed her that she was pressing on her back and leaning against the wall due to the weight.

So clearly she needed to relax her back. I took a chair from my office and wheeled it out into the hall so she could sit down. She and the group of women were so touched at what I did they all thanked me. I said you are welcome and moved on to continue with my job.

Later that day I saw that woman again and she thanked me again. I said it is our responsibility to be kind and help others and she said that she wished more people felt that way. I would want any woman that I cared about who was pregnant to be helped and made the process of pregnancy easier.

I was thinking that perhaps she needed a footstool as well and so I went down and asked the department that handles that. The department person said that they thought they brought her a footstool but she would double check that she received it. So perhaps I helped her twice and she didn’t realize it.

It is not important that you get credit for helping people, but it is enough to know that I find ways to be helpful and useful to people. One of the nicest things is to give a gift and be anonymous. Then you can see the surprise and delight that the person has when they receive the gift.

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