I listened patiently while my husband told a large group of friends a tale. It went like this:
“Christine used to buy the most wonderful mince pies every Christmas. The chef at her workplace made them – they were filled with cream cheese and homemade mincemeat, encased in an orange shortcrust pastry that was like nothing I’d ever had before. Just wonderful.”
He was positively drooling. For my husband is a mince pie aficionado and I believe has sampled every variety known to the UK retail trade, and a few more besides. And it was a lovely story.
Had it been accurate.
I did buy mince pies, from a workplace chef, and they were truly gorgeous – we all loved them.
But the orange-shortcrust-cream-cheese-homemade-mincemeat variety were made, every year, by . . .me. They were mine, all mine.
Many people who come to me through coaching, express the challenges they face in not being able to find the words to say what’s on their mind, to be transparent and honest and assertive. And I empathise with them, wholeheartedly, for who amongst us hasn’t been in that situation occasionally?
But the mince pie day was one of those occasions when I did manage to find the right words. Who says conversations are difficult?! Perhaps less so when you’re sure of your facts, know your audience, and can find the courage to speak.
I’m not a great chef – I don’t even like cooking that much any more – but I simply couldn’t let my husband’s tale pass without an appropriate response. Let’s call it the mince pie challenge. Remember it next time you feel you really need to say something:
- Listen to the whole story
- Check your facts
- Take a deep breath
- Get their attention
- Be heard.
The taste of victory will be divine.