Situation ethics, how do you score?

I love talking with all kinds of diverse people; professional athletes, lawyers, Doctors, politicians, movie stars, store clerks, mechanics, teachers, students, etc. I have learned a great deal from these folks.

I hear all kinds of stories and histories about peoples lives. It always amazes me when people share private details about their lives. Many of the things they talk about are the very things we struggle with. They complain about rude and pushy people, those who take advantage of people or a situation. As I listened to several of my friends share a situation they have been in and how they dealt with it, I was wondering how each of you would deal with these situations. Some of you may find that the way it was handled was right on or some of you might think that fighting and arguing is the only way to teach someone a lesson.

I have some friends that are type A aggressive type personalities and others that are laid back, take it easy type B personalities. You will see how these folks handled the problem and what type of personality they were.

One of my friends, a famous football player, was elk hunting near Montrose, Colorado. He had ridden his ATV to the spot he wanted to hunt. The climb to his stand was about 400 yards up a steep draw. He had been sitting at his stand in the dark for about 30 minutes, when he heard someone walking up to his stand in the draw below. He flashed his flashlight in the direction of the noise and saw two guys walking in his direction. They continued to walk towards him, even knowing he was hunting that draw. They set up about 50 yards down from where he was sitting. As it got lighter he could see that it looked like two guys in their 20’s were just below his stand. They were talking and laughing out loud. He walked down to where they were sitting and asked them why they were hunting in a spot he had been in. They responded by saying, it was a National Forest, and they could hunt wherever they wanted to and they were not going to move. So, how would you have handled this situation? My buddy, being a class act, just packed up and moved to another spot. He scored on a nice bull at that new spot! Would you have argued with the two guys? Would you have physically tried to move them? Most people I have asked would have argued with the two intruders.

I had another friend who was waiting in line at a fast food restaurant in a mall in Seattle, Washington. There were several people ahead of him as he waited. As he got closer to the counter, a group of Chinese cut in front of him. He tried telling them to go back to the end of the line, but there was a language barrier. How do you tell people that they have cut ahead in line? Here’s how he dealt with it. He went up to the group and cut in front of them. When they tried cutting in line again, he used physical force, by pushing them back. Others who saw this, and were cut in front from this group, helped him. So, how would you have handled this? Me, I would have gone to another restaurant in the mall.

Your neighbor has a dog that has become a problem for you. He lets it loose in the morning, and the dog proceeds to visit your front yard with..well…doing his business. You have asked the neighbor repeatedly to either pick up after his pooch or keep the dog in his own yard. The guy next door tells you he will take care of it. Yet, this keeps happening day after day! How would you deal with this issue? Do you call the police or animal control? Do you go back and confront the careless neighbor? What do you do? My friend just happened to take pictures and sent them in to animal control. He let them deal with it. Guess what, the problem stopped.

You are at a National Chain Sports Bar watching your favorite team playing on a Saturday evening. Its the second quarter, with 2 minutes left. There are 40 television screens with all kinds of different college football games on in the restaurant. All of a sudden the channel is changed on the game you are watching. You look around for your sever to ask what happened to your game. Then the restaurant manager shows up at your table and you ask him what happened to your game. He responds by saying not many people are watching your game. You shoot back by saying, several are cheering for the other team, there’s plenty of fans watching the game. He turns and looks at you and says, “I hate your team.” and then walks away! What do you do? Do you walk out? Confront the manager?

As you can see, we all deal with inconsiderate people and situations. Most people will just walk away and try to forget it. Can you do that? I have some friends who will gladly confront and fight. I have seen some very embarrassing results because their anger gets the best of them. Do you have trouble with coping skills? Do you get angry very easily?

Here are some tips on keeping yourself out of trouble. The big one is to just walk away from trouble. Keep away from those who make you angry. If you find yourself in a situation or around people who make you lose it, find some other places and different friends to hang around with. There will always be people who challenge us to keep our cool. Knowing when to leave is key. If you’re tempted to debate and argue, that’s the red flag for you! Go. Leave, and never look back. That is the key of keeping out of trouble.

If you would like some help in dealing with personal issues in your life or the relationship that you’re in, you can contact Mike at 303.456.0555. If you need more information about the Professional Accountability Partner Program, call 303.456.0555 or go to contact Mike link to set up a free consultation appointment. Dr. Mike’s website is all calls are confidential and your privacy is protected. Check out Mike’s blog at: I always welcome your thoughts and comments on today’s coaching article. Mike is also available for speaking engagements.