My husband and I were playing a lively game of Taboo last night with his parents. For those of you who don’t know the game, you’re given a key word and without using certain related words your job is to get your partner in the game to guess the key word. (ie: if the word is “shower” you couldn’t say “rain”, “wash”, “bath”, “water” or “gifts”).
The great thing about Taboo is that it forces you to think really quickly and you often end up saying amusing things. Like the time a friend’s clue to her partner was “what I would get done if I was going to have any work”. The answer (correctly) – “Nose Job”.
After much giggling at some of the terrible hints we were all giving, my father in law Bob, paired with my husband picked the word “property”. Bob’s initial clue was a great one – “Kirsty deals primarily with this”. My husband’s guesses fired out in machine gun like manner “Business... Complaints… People”.
Eventually they got to “property” – but I was a bit taken back at what my husband thinks I primarily deal with!
Business and people – no worries there. Complaints though! Later I asked him – why did complaints feature so highly on his list. They certainly wouldn’t feature highly on the list I’d create for myself in terms of what I primarily dealt with.
Do I deal with complaints? Absolutely – property management comprises a lot of conflict resolution. But even though they’re not a large component of my day, it was apparent from my husband’s front of mind that they’re what causes me grief outside of work. As it turns out – complaints are what I bring home from work.
As excited as I might be about the new record rental price we’ve received, what I talk about at home instead is the tenant who is unhappy that their rental property is going to be marketed for sale. Rather than talking about how delighted I am at a staff member’s result on an exam, I’ll bring up an unflattering review.
It was a pretty startling realisation for me that:
a) I’m not focussing enough on our successes
b) That I might be a bit myopic when it comes to focussing on any perceived conflict or complaint
A great lesson for me and a hopefully my husband will answer the question differently in the future with a change of perspective from me.