How much are you paying attention? I mean, really noticing what is happening in and around you?
In sports, referees are charged with noticing it all. They make sure players follow rules.
Even with multiple folks in black and white striped shirts on the field, calls get missed. A referee may call holding in one instant, yet miss a face mask call just a moment prior.
It may be easy to miss things at home or work as well. In one moment, you may observe something you appreciate, respect, or understand. Other times, you may notice things that you do not like, want, or understand. Yet, you do not see all of any person’s moments.
Knowing you do not see everything, it helps to understand what led to this moment. This means approaching with curiosity. Remember, in each and every moment humans are just trying to meet their needs. It does not mean the choice for doing so is the best or most rational.
Viewing the situation with compassion also helps. Unlike a judge or referee, you have an ongoing relationship with friends, family, and colleagues. You cannot connect when judging the moment. Yet, that one moment may make or break a relationship.
Mediations for organizations sometimes involve complaints stemming from one encounter. Compassion and curiosity may go unexercised in moments preceding and leading to complaints. The person complaining and the employee see each other as barriers. They do not really fully see each other.
Curiosity and compassion do not mean unacceptable action goes without accountability. Yet, compassion and accountability may co-exist.
What you see may be a fact, and not the only fact. Remember, other facts exist, and the moment you witness represents a portion of the whole truth. Without seeing the fullness of anyone’s experience, a little compassion and curiosity offer a more clear understanding. Understanding helps resolve conflict and may prevent it as well.
You experience thousands of moments each day. And the people around you do as well. Notice what someone does here and now, and be mindful of the hundreds of thousands of moments in this person’s life that you do not see or hear. This might just offer some perspective into what is happening here and now.
What are you noticing? What might you be missing?