In mining, there’s a concept of dirt to gold ratio. Miners assess a big piece of land to understand what percentage of it is gold. If the rate of soil is too high, they don’t dig.
There are types of analysis in every field to understand if a business decision or impact is a quitting point or a tipping point. While these moments often come with accountants and calculators, how do we know when we should stop versus when we should push through in a business relationship?
Making strategic plans is so much easier than making decisions about relationships. It’s not always obvious when to quit or work on improving your relationship. It’s easy to get frustrated, but to stop answering the phone when someone calls altogether? That takes a different kind of willpower combined with the willingness to disappoint others on behalf of your boundaries.
They don’t teach that in business school. Instead, they teach you about the “value of networking” and how every relationship is essential. “You never know who you’ll meet,” they say as if every person you come across is dying to help you out and make your life better.
The reality isn’t so rosy. Most people are out to make their own life better, and giving out the benefit of the doubt cards isn’t a good strategy. I had a Costco-sized super pack of the benefit of the doubt cards right out of college.
All of a sudden, I’m running a little low. I’ll blame the Rona. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I hate people instantly for being human or making mistakes. That’s not it at all.
I’m saying that when someone shows me an unmistakable pattern of behavior, I accept it.
I tried so hard to assume good intent, but patterns are there for a reason. They’re real, but when you’re trying to look on the bright side it’s easy to forget. So, I’m trying something new. When I recognize a negative behavior pattern, I put the behavior adjective in front of their name in my contacts.
The alliteration doesn’t always work out, but the reminders do. I immediately get a quick reminder of the pattern, and instead of interacting by default or out of guilt, I go into the interaction aware of the dirt to gold ratio. I can say no a lot more easily when I know I’m not emotionally prepared for that behavior.
Right now, we all need self-preservation options, and this is a straightforward way to get started. Just don’t share your contacts.
This week, I shared a quick checklist for the mobile candidate experience. If you’re investing in this tech or upgrading your system, you might find that interesting. Regardless, I hope you have a relaxing weekend.
Take care of yourself -