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  • George Karavattuveetil

Have a Coke and a Smile!


The great majority of my work is in helping people be more accountable for themselves as well as holding others accountable. In society, accepting responsibility for what one says and does is on the decline. It seems to always be someone else’s fault. In most cases, whether we are talking about crime, education or health, there are multiple influencers. As individuals, we should actively accept our part. However, sometimes it is best just to give people a break.


We must pick and choose when we give someone appropriate pressure. This may be in relation to safety, as in wearing a mask. Unlike seatbelts, where the protection is for oneself, a mask is primarily for the safety of others. Asking someone to wear a mask for the benefit of the people around may be considered appropriate pressure. However, if the person is resistant, then you could leave the situation in a calm and respectful manner, prioritizing individual safety over convenience or pleasure. Recognize that the way you respond is ultimately within your control.

On the other hand, in less critical situations and in these “novel” times, giving people appropriate slack can go a long way. It may be in the form of an employee or coworker being slower in decision making or more distracted at work. At home, sluggishness or lack of interest may prompt a question of, “How are you doing?” or “Is everything okay?” Your greatest opportunity is to try and understand the individual and recognize that people respond to situations differently. Care is a rare and valuable commodity in all times, and, at this moment, it is a premium.


So, this week in all your interactions, whether by phone, email, Zoom or in-person, actively decide to deliver appropriate pressure or appropriate slack. Sometimes it is best to just give one another a “Coke and a smile.”


Enjoy the journey!