Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Timing Is Everything...

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

I have always enjoyed this passage from Ecclesiastes. There is certainly a time for everything. I find it intriguing how a sense of good timing can benefit someone. You have heard of emotional and social intelligence? How about timing intelligence? Well, I'd say that one's "timing quotient" (T.Q. ?) ranks right up there. Often when I have couples in my office one of their big problems is a terrible sense of timing. They do the right things . . . but at the wrong time. It's incredible how often people can miss this as I have found in my own marriage. It took me several years to figure out that Jobina does not want to talk about anything serious late at night so I might as well not bother. And she has realized that if she tries talking to me about things that are important to her while I'm watching a TV show, reading, or on my computer that she is in for frustration and disappointment. Even our kids seem to understand that there is a good time and a bad time to ask for things - waiting til Mom is in a good mood gets better results.

Sometimes we get disappointed in a relationship when we make a reasonable request of someone but find it continually rebuffed. Instead of getting bitter and angry (blaming them for their selfishness) try changing when you ask the person. I think of couples where one spouse is continually hearing "no" when they request lovemaking from their partner. Often (not always of course, there can be many factors involved) it is simply that they ask at the wrong time of day or under the wrong circumstances. If they try asking at a better time they find their chances greatly improved. Sometimes timing really is everything. People with a high T.Q. wait for just the right moment. I know a guy on a board I serve on. Sometimes he'll wait 20 or 30 minutes into a discussion and then suddenly, voila, he says his opinion. Because of his timing (and patience to wait for the right moment) people listen and respond favorably to him. What a gift to know the right time for things!

Of course if you don't have a high sense of timing all is not lost. Just ask people - when would be a good time to talk to you? When would be a good time to ask for something? Under what circumstances is it a bad time to approach you? Timing Intelligence is a learned skill, if you are willing to put the time and effort into acquiring it. Good luck!

No comments: