There are few places that have less sympathy than the boardroom. Cut throat, me first, step on whoever you have to in order to make it to the top, usually rules the day. The waiting room in a hospital is just the opposite.
I spent most of Wednesday in a waiting room while my dad had his surgery, and I went away asking myself . . . “Why Can’t the Board Room Be More Like the Waiting Room?”
The waiting room is no less stressful than the boardroom. Actually it can be even more tense. Business politics pale in comparison to bypass surgeries, breech births, and organ removals.
Yet around the office we convince ourselves that work is bigger than life, which can lead to people acting like jerks.
In the waiting room people serve each other. Everyone cheers for all the others in the room, even perfect strangers. How much money you make, the color of your skin, your title, car and neighborhood are all irrelevant.
People share newspapers, family stories, and no one demands to hold the remote control. Strangers offer to go get a cup of coffee for you and you trust them to do so.
If you want to be a better leader in your work place, just act like you would if you were in a waiting room and watch what happens.
The waiting room . . . a great place to learn relational leadership.
What other places can serve as a classroom for relational leadership?
adapted from 3.18.11 post
Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.