It helps to plan for how you will handle situations, and this goes for both your personal relationships as well as your business.
As you know, I’m a big proponent of consistency. And it’s easier to be consistent when you have systems and processes in place.
In your personal life, this means you’re probably making deals with your partner: You agree to take out the trash, and they agree to wash the dishes. That’s the deal.
But you also have to know when it’s time to reassess the deal if things aren’t feeling right.
The dishes keep piling up and the trash is overflowing? It’s time to reassess the deal.
Another useful system is having protocols. That’s the kind of deal you make for situations that are too intense to handle in the moment.
It could be something like how to handle an upset customer. If you don’t have protocols in place, it’s easy to react impulsively in a way you might regret.
Hear me talk about this and more in my latest video!
1:10 Don’t assume that people know your systems
2:10 If you are continually not doing the things you agreed to there is a problem
2:26 You need to either reassess the deal or actually do it
3:18 If I agreed to do this thing, I should show up to do that thing with enthusiasm
3:40 The deal is like a hypothesis
4:12 Have the agreement that we can reassess the deals that we’ve made
4:37 More important than keeping whatever agreement you made is feeling good
5:07 Don’t agree to do things that you don’t want to do
5:56 Protocols, these things are phenomenal and we use them a lot
6:42 In situations that don’t feel good over and over, agree how to handle it
7:22 If you have a protocol it gives you a way out of anything that’s going bad
8:10 A protocol on what you do when you have an unhappy customer
8:45 You’ve got to have good, clear company protocols
9:21 If new information comes along that’s better, take advantage of it
10:24 Keeps you on the same page or on the same team
Click Here For Video Transcript
Ezra: Ready, I was giving you the old…there you go. You know, when you do that, you always really go down and you really go up and you really punch. The cooler way to do it, the way the cool kids do it is to go like this, just a short little one, “bam.”
Carrie: You know what it is, is that I’m afraid of your ring.
Ezra: I know.
Carrie: And so I feel like I have to be really aggressive in order to not get smashed.
Ezra: I mean, it’s confronting, I’ll tell you that.
Ezra: So don’t assume that people know your systems.
Carrie: I didn’t know this system.
Ezra: You didn’t know this system? I assumed you knew this system. Kerry double loads baskets. I see a basket, I put it in the wash.
Carrie: Laundry baskets.
Ezra: Yeah, laundry basket. I didn’t know there were two loads in there. I came to find out later that sometimes we even triple and quadruple load baskets. So the point here is, don’t assume other people know your systems even if they’re common sense to you, because…
Carrie: It seemed very obvious to me that there’s a load of whites and there’s a load of darks, and they’re divided and they’re not touching in the basket. They’re just in the same basket.
Ezra: I just saw a basket with laundry in it, and I put it in the wash.
Ezra: So anyway, so even if it’s common sense to you, other people may not know your systems, so…
Carrie: You can’t assume that they’re going to know it just because it’s common sense to you. You have to tell them.
Ezra: Yeah, like so if they come along after the fact, after you’ve already started the work, you’ve got to hip them to what’s going on so that they don’t wash the whites and the darks together as I did the other day, right?
Ezra: The other thing is if you find yourself continually not doing the things that you agreed to do in any area of your life in a relationship or whatever…
Carrie: Your partner, with your business partner.
Ezra: Anything, then you’ve got a problem there, right?
Carrie: It’s true.
Ezra: You need to either reassess the deal and figure out how you don’t have to do that, or you need to actually do it, but people should not have to come remind you about the things you’ve agreed to do. If you’ve agreed to do them, do them with enthusiasm.
Carrie: Yeah, well, this is the things that comes up sometimes in our relationship. It’s like, you, for example, will…I mean, it works both ways.
Ezra: Yeah, yeah, yeah, it works both ways. I’m happy to be the example on this in this round, yeah.
Carrie: Okay. Ezra will sometimes…
Ezra: Sometimes I won’t do the dishes fast enough. I won’t take out the trash fast enough, right?
Carrie: Right, there’s certain things that we’ve agreed that are Ezra’s household responsibilities.
Ezra: That I’m happy to be doing.
Carrie: Right, and so whenever we have conversations about them, he’s like, “I’m going to do them.”
Ezra: You don’t want to have to come to me and say, “Hey dude, do the dishes.”
Carrie: Right. I don’t want it to…
Ezra: That’s really un-sexy, for one.
Carrie: Yes, true.
Ezra: And for two, it’s like if I’ve agreed to do this thing, then I should show up to do that thing with enthusiasm. The dishes should be done after every meal. The trash should be taken out when it’s 75% full. And for the most part in our life, I’m great, but there’s certain little areas just like that one where I’m not. And everyone runs into this. So the title of this episode is, “Reassessing the deal,” right?
Carrie: Right, reassessing the deal. So when you make a deal, it’s kind of like a hypothesis. You’re looking into the future and saying, “When this situation that we know is going to come up does come up, this is how we think we want to handle it.”
Ezra: That’s right.
Carrie: And then after you’ve encountered that situation a few times, you’re going to have more information on how you actually want to handle it. It might be the same as you predicted, it might be a little different.
Ezra: And so when that happens, you should have, or at least, the way that we…should is a strong word. Maybe you shouldn’t, but the way that we do it…
Carrie: We found that it works very well to have this system.
Ezra: …to have the agreement that we can reassess deals that we’ve made. So we make a deal and we’re like, “Hey, this is how we’re going to do it.” And then if that doesn’t feel good at any point, the conversation already exists that we can bring that up and say, “Hey, you know, this isn’t feeling good. What do you think? Maybe we should change the deal,” right?
Carrie: Right, it’s not that you make a deal and then you’re locked into that forever because you made that deal.
Carrie: What’s more important than keeping whatever agreement you made is feeling good.
Ezra: Yeah, is pleasure.
Ezra: And so it’s more fun to figure out a way to do things that everyone wins at rather than be like, “Well, you agreed to do that thing, so you’ve got to do it.” And at the same time, if you agree to do stuff, you should do them.
Carrie: You should do it, yeah.
Ezra: Or don’t agree.
Carrie: You should do it…okay, so yeah. If there’s something you don’t want to do, don’t agree.
Ezra: Well, the worst thing that you can do for any relationship, business or personal, is agree to do something you don’t want to do, then do it, and then resent the person because now you’re doing this thing you don’t want to do, in their name. That is a terrible strategy, and a lot of people do that. It happens a lot.
Carrie: Well, it’s easy to do if you don’t reassess the deal, because I don’t think many people are going around making commitments that they don’t intend to keep right off the bat. It’s usually like, “In the moment, it sounds like a great idea to agree to take out the trash when it’s 75% full.”
Ezra: Then that trash comes around, it gets 75% full, but you’re involved in another cycle.
Carrie: Right, or you just may not be paying that much attention to it and your partner is.
Ezra: Right. You know, this brings us to another conversation of something that has us…that’s very successful in our partnership, which is protocols. These things are phenomenal and we use them a lot. And so what a protocol is, is it’s basically if you find yourself in a sticky situation over and over. So one of the situations that we had been finding ourselves in was running late. I really don’t like to run late. I like to show up to everything very, very early; fifteen minutes, show my enthusiasm, you know.
Carrie: As do I, I prefer to be on time. However, I also…
Ezra: You run late.
Carrie: I run late.
Ezra: Which is fine, right?
Ezra: So we’d end up in this situation where we’re running late and then that would make Kerry feel stressed, and then getting out the door didn’t feel good. Then we sit in the car and it was like…this was like a point of…this kept happening, right?
Carrie: Right, and it kept being something that didn’t feel good, over and over again.
Ezra: So we made a protocol of how to handle that. And so when you find yourself in situations that don’t feel good over and over, a good strategy is to…before you’re in the situation, right? You’re like, “Okay, this thing keeps happening. So when it happens next time, let’s agree how we’re going to handle it.”
Carrie: Yeah, because in the heat of the moment when it’s something that doesn’t feel good, you’re not going to have a lot of emotional energy for figuring out how to best handle it. You want to have that pre-handled from a time when you’re feeling good, you’re emotionally feeling stable and flat, and then you have a plan of action.
Ezra: And that also it gives you a way to win when things are you know…because it’s hard to find a way out when things start to go down in that moment. But if you have a protocol you’re like, “Oh, this is how we handle this spot,” and it gives you a way out of anything that’s going bad.
Carrie: Yeah, and also as from your role in this particular instance as a person who is not the cause of the lateness or whatever it is, it gives you a way to help me out of my bad mood or sticky situation without sounding like you’re telling me what to do.
Ezra: Condescending or like…
Carrie: Right. It’s like an agreement you had beforehand that you’re just reminding me of, which feels much better.
Ezra: Yeah, so protocols…do we have any other examples of protocols that are sort of applicable maybe in business? You make a protocol like what happens when you disagree on a direction in the business; you’ve got a protocol for how to handle that disagreement.
Carrie: Absolutely, yeah. Or a protocol on what to do when you have an unhappy customer.
Ezra: How you handle that, because companies handle this very differently. It’s a big sticking point in companies that we do business with. Our policy is very like “Do whatever it takes to make someone happy.” That’s our strategy. We will go the extra mile to ensure that our customers are happy. Not everyone has that strategy, which is like hey…
Carrie: And different people in your company may have a different idea of what is the right way to handle an unhappy customer, and so depending on who the customer is interacting with, they might get very different responses.
Ezra: Which is why you’ve got to have a good, clear company protocols for different situ…that’s essentially company policy and making sure people are following your directives that you give out and that kind of stuff.
Carrie: Yeah, and with these protocols, it’s really important to like we talked about earlier, be able to reassess the deal. So you may have a system and it’s working pretty well, but if anybody who is using that system finds that it stops being so effective or is not feeling quite right anymore, that you have a protocol for reassessing the deal.
Ezra: Yeah, and this comes into being willing to be flexible and being willing to change your mind. If new information comes along that’s better, take advantage of it. A lot of people are like, “Well, this new information…” This happens a lot with our customers who buy our courses and stuff. It’s that they’ll run into new information, and then they’ll have it in their head, think that the new information means that the old way they were doing it is wrong, and so therefore they are wrong and then they won’t take advantage of the new information. But it’s like, “You weren’t wrong before, you were just operating on the best information that you had and now you have new information.” So you’ve got to be open and willing to sort of change course based on what information is available.
Carrie: Absolutely, and I think that’s another benefit of having this system in place for making protocols and reassessing the deal. It takes what’s happening and takes it one step away from you, personally, so that when your partner in life or in business brings up, “Hey, this thing that we had agreed upon isn’t working out anymore,” it doesn’t feel like they’re attacking you.
Ezra: Totally, that’s a really good point.
Carrie: Keeps you on the same page or on the same team.
Ezra: Yeah, and also it has you not feel emotionally attacked. I think that the sort of fundamental concept here is that things are going to…life is going to go like this. It’s not always going to be high, you know, “Hey!” It’s not always going to be good, but you actually want that whole range of experience. You don’t just want it good all the time because that’s no fun, because if there was no bad then you wouldn’t know what good was, right? So when that happens you can be prepared for it by having protocols and by reassessing the deals that are in place, and by having clear deals and clear communication. So Carrie Firestone.
Carrie: Ezra Firestone.
Ezra: Ezra Firestone from the North Shore of Oahu, which is where I grew up in part.
Carrie: And where we got married.
Ezra: And where we got married.
Carrie: A very special place.
Ezra: A very special place. Thanks for joining us. See you on the next one.