I was intrigued by the Arizona Diamondbacks resigning Joe Saunders this week after many had considered him headed for another team. He was arbitration eligible,and the Diamondbacks didn’t think that the salary he’d get if he won his arbitration case would be a good value for them.
So the didn’t offer to go to arbitration with him,and he became a free agent –only to come back to the Diamondbacks for about $2.7 million less than what his arbitration number was thought to be.
So the Diamondbacks got back a pitcher who they admitted to wanting on better terms for them. I’m sure Mr. Saunders wasn’t terribly thrilled by the outcome,although maybe he was. He still gets a raise of $500,000 from 2011,he’s back in a place he seemed to enjoy,on a team that won their division last year,and he got to test the free agent waters.
This got me to thinking a bit,don’t we all find ourselves in relationships that aren’t quite perfect,and just need some of the terms to be adjusted? Mainly it’s to drop some of the drama that people bring,or the commitment level,or whatever. There’s clearly something that’s very enjoyable about that person,but when you put everything together,it just doesn’t create the best value.
But what do we do when we run into those situations? Drop the person all together? Put up with the stuff we don’t like? Neither are great options –and again,this isn’t to say we shouldn’t accept people for their flaws and imperfections. But it would seem that if we were just honest with those people about the things we don’t like,we might all end up in a better situation.
Just like the Diamondbacks saying,“Joe,we like you a lot,we think you’re a great pitcher and we’d love to have you on this ballclub,but we just can’t justify $8.7 million,”what might you need to say to that friend of yours?
“I love our conversations,but the swearing really needs to stop –I’m not comfortable with it and it makes it tough for me to focus on what you have to say.”
“I know you want to hang out every night,but I just can’t do it –can we make a promise of one or two nights a week?”
“I really love going to these nice bars and restaurants,but the cost is taking a hit on my wallet and taking away from some of the things I’m saving for. What about doing some nights in or at places with a bit more modestly priced menu?”
We all have our teams –those people we keep around us for support,advice,guidance,and assistance. But to maintain those teams in a healthy way,we often have to define the terms of those relationships in order to nurture them. It’s not the easiest conversation to have,but it’s an important one to have if you value your friendships. There’s nothing wrong with asking what the terms are in a relationship,from your casual buddies to your life and business partners.
Try it –you may just end up strengthening your relationships.