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Can’t Say Can

April 8, 2010

You can take the title of this post however you like.  It has many great meanings.  But, to flesh out what I’m thinking let me tell you about something that happened to me this morning. 

We all suffer from both can and can’t mindsets.  And, they can both show up in interesting ways.  I was on the phone with a lady setting up an appointment.  She asked about my availability for next week.  And, trying to be helpful I started telling her when I was not available so that she could schedule me in sometime around that time.  When you think about this you can see the problems.  First, she’s now focussed on connecting with me on the days that I have the least availability because those are the days that I hear.  And, I am now at her mercy in terms of when she schedules the appointment.

I could her the hesitation in her voice and then realized what I had done.  So, I quickly changed things around and said, “Actually, I can make it sometime Monday in the morning.”  What happened was that I told her what I could do.  She could more easily work with that and I was again in the drivers seat of my schedule. 

Most people understand that approaching this from “can” will get us farther often that from “can’t”.  But, everyone, including me, needs to be reminded from time to time.

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