A New Skill Set

I’ve been talking a lot with some friends about how we could improve DCI; what we could do to better get across the ideas that Geshe Michael is trying to teach–how to use seeds and the concept of emptiness to improve your world.

And I keep coming back to this story: a friend of mine, who runs a successful company in the Ukraine asked me about a problem he was having–he found out one of his employees was stealing from him, so he fired him. Then he got a call from a manager in another company, who said he was thinking about hiring his old employee. So the question is, what to do? Does he tell the truth, and thus prevent his old employee from getting a job, or does he not say anything (thus not disparaging him) but perhaps let his employee get hired into another company he can steal from?

So the first thing I pointed out was how firing his employee didn’t solve his problem. This is the main point of the Diamond Cutter trainings: if you don’t plant the seeds for what you want, it doesn’t matter what you do, nothing will work. So he fired his employee, and now he just has a new set of problems: he has to hire and train a new one (expensive) and now he has to decide whether to recommend the thief or not.

You see if he had done seed management, what should he have done? Looked at how he was cheating or misleading someone else, and stop it. And be totally scrupulous in his business dealings (actually, in all money matters). Then what might have happened? Having planted the seeds to see honest employees, the situation would have resolved itself–either the employee would have stopped stealing or perhaps found another job on his own, moved to another country, retired, etc.

He said, “Okay, okay, I understand that. But what do I do now?”

Okay, good question. It’s a problem: do I tell the truth, thus planting a seed for telling the truth, but also planting a seed for splitting people–the very opposite of what I want to do as a manager–or do I say nothing–thus planting a seed for lying and also one for not protecting others?

This, as many of you know, is a classic diamond deal. So the solution to any diamond deal is to look for in Tibetan what they call a pung sumba–a third option. I don’t want the yellow diamond or the diamond with a black spot–I want a flawless diamond for a good price.

So here what I told him was, in the state I grew up in (I think the laws are different from state to state) you’re not allowed to give an ex-employee a bad review to another potential employer. If you do, the would-be employee can sue you. So what I said was, you don’t want the bad seed of lying, but you also don’t want the bad seed of disparaging someone else. So don’t do either: tell the other manager that he did work for you, and you let him go, but you would prefer not to say why.

So then hopefully the manager will ask the employee himself–and if you’ve been truthful, he will tell the true. And if you’re in the habit of forgiving others, the new manager will give him a second chance. But either way, you’re in good shape–you haven’t lied, and you haven’t tried to split other people apart.

So… how do we teach this methodology to others?

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8 Responses to A New Skill Set

  1. Per Flood says:

    Thanks Eric, very nice way of teaching management. Will work in every situation!

  2. Great, Eric, thank you so much for sharing these real-world ‘deals’ solvers 🙂
    Very good inspiration and reminder in the busy business day, showing us that always there is a third option 🙂

  3. wei chi says:

    Can DCI start a “seed-bank” forum? people from around the world using seed-management can post questions and get support?

    • ericbrinkman says:

      Dear Wei Chi,

      I think that’s a good idea… I’ll have to think about how we could implement that. We’re tried doing discussion groups; they don’t seem to work so well. You can also post questions to our DCI Facebook page… but maybe we can have a more organized way to do this…

  4. Patrick McGinn says:

    I like your use of the phrase “I prefer not to say” when any other truthful answer would be a forced diamond deal choice. I will keep it in my pocket as a useful skillful means technique. Good one!

  5. Thank you Eric, very nice

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