The Nicest Compliment

13 Oct

Several months ago, I had the difficult task of needing to give someone bad news. She didn’t live in my area, so I had to do it by phone.

I looked up her phone number and wrote it on a sticky note. And then I attached it to the console of my car and drove around with it for several weeks!!! Even on a vacation. It fell down so many times and I dutifully stuck it back on … knowing that sooner or later, I needed to pick up that phone.

Fortunately, the news wasn’t terribly time sensitive or I wouldn’t have had the luxury of postponing it … which I did.  It was just simply something I didn’t want to do.

The chances are good that I will be working with this person in the future and so that made this a doubly hard task.

Finally, one day, I had just had enough of looking at the bright yellow piece of paper. It was falling down more frequently and it actually was fading from the Nevada sun exposure. It was time!!

So, I decided to call this lady when I knew I was going to be in the car for a while. (No worries, I have a hands-free phone.)

She picked up the phone after just a couple of rings. Gulp – this was it. I had to tell her.

I started with some pleasantries and asked followed up on some things I remembered she was going to be doing since we last spoke. That all went pretty well.

And then … the moment of truth.

I just gathered up my courage and blurted out the bad news. There really wasn’t any way to sugar coat it.

She took it WAY better than I had feared which was a huge relief.

Coffee timeAnd then, she did the most amazing thing.  She gave ME the nicest compliment. It was about the LAST thing I was expecting! She said that talking to me was comfortable like sitting in her living room on the couch, enjoying a cup of coffee.

So, all that dread for all those weeks and all of that stress was for naught. And even though it was hard, it all worked out just fine.

And she and I have a better relationship out of it too!!





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