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Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1250
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 06, 2011 - 12:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

by Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Cincinnati, OH

It’s fair to say that the world is made in such a way as there are times when there are no winners-- and no losers! There are times, perfectly valid times, when things just need to simmer down, and take the newly minted stance of “time out”!

Each of us in our individual desires and our egomania want things as we want them; often too selfishly and often without perspective of the whole picture. Sure, the easy way is to always follow only the path where we can succeed-- it does do away with a lot of angst and frustration, but then it doesn’t always get us doing or possessing what we intended.

In addition, it is hard to stop!-- look!-- and listen, not for the steam locomotive that is no longer coming down the track, but for signals of all sorts that impact any of the many situations we encounter. It may be the tough matter of thinking about what may have been wrong, ill-advised, off-base, out of synch, or before its time. But the signals are there much earlier; it is for us to look for and find them and resolve them. This allows us to put irrelevant items to rest and provides us with a better course of action-- and success.

Resolution is not a matter of “re-loading the nasty gun” and taking the same path again. Rather it is a matter of reviewing and identifying what may have been askew and needs adjustment. What was done, for example, that should not have been done? Or what was left undone that could have changed matters?

How many times in your life have there been circumstances where you did take a minute—OK, hesitated-- before taking some action or speaking some word, only to find out later that your hesitation was exactly the right things to do at the time? We can’t operate at “full bore” all the time. We clearly need to slow down, assess, evaluate, openly communicate with others, review, and adjust before taking some actions. In a sense, we need to “grease the slides” for some of our ideas, thoughts and initiatives. Not to make sure of success, but to ensure propriety in the process, reasonableness in the approach and the building of at least a minimal ground-swell of support. Every success is not a bombshell blast; often there are no fireworks, bells ringing, yelling and shouting.

Quiet, thoughtful, productive success, it appears, is just as valid, AND may well be much more satisfying. It, too is fully consistent with professionalism.

We all have seen many instances, recent and some time ago, where consideration, and reflection followed by a more informed resolution has occurred-- sometimes it involves a decision of life or death. Pure speed is not the universal answer, nor fitting, despite the circumstances. We, as specification writers really do embrace this reflective mood most of the time, but sometimes [perhaps too often] snap, quick, off-the-cuff decisions come back to haunt us-- some times in minor ways; sometimes not. And remember we do have a deep, legal obligation to “contribute“ to safe and sound construction, over and above our contractual obligations to the client.

In addition, to fulfill all of our obligations we need to really know what we’re doing, with insight into the capabilities of the materials and systems, our adaptive use of them, and their correct documentation and proper construction. In this, we do have an “internal” duty [via our experience and advanced knowledge] to bring this concept to the project [and office] staff, so the collective effort is synchronized, proper, complete, and fully in keeping with the intentions of regulations and project program.

Learn to take a minute, a deep breath, a sigh, a reflection and a determined hesitation before acting. The rose of success will smell better when the better solution comes forth! And you can smile, inside, not as winner but as participant.

And those who may have come out as apparent “losers” may well be better for being part of the episode!

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