“Fifteen years ago, that twat broke my teapot. And that teapot meant so much to me. She knew that.” Gertrude’s arms are folded and she spits the words out, red with anger, while facing the camera.
“Gee,” Bert van Leeuwen of the Dutch TV show Het Familiediner replies. “And she didn’t say sorry?” He looks at Gertrude questioningly and closes his eyes slightly as an understanding gesture.
“No, not really,” Gertrude continues. “A card, that was all. But if she was really sorry yeah, if she was really sorry, then she’d come here and say it straight to my face. She’s my very own sister, yeah. And she tries to away with a card.”
The large, dark brown pit bull in the background still growls at Bert’s calves.
“Oh well, right to your face… yes, that’s strange that she didn’t do that,” Bert says, keeping an eye on the dog behind his owner, staring at Bert with big, dark eyes.
It might be some strange professional abnormality, but I always really enjoy watching Het Familiediner. It’s where families settle their cold wars after Bert’s limo picked them up.
For no good reason, that’s why they’re fighting. A birthday card that never arrived. A misunderstanding about the other person’s wife.
All kinds of assumptions fly around. “Yes, he did that because he thinks that we’re not good enough.”
“Did they say that?” Bert then asks. “No, they didn’t, but we just know.”
Weird huh? Or not?
This morning I sat with some MT members who had been in conflict with each other for quite a while. I talked to them separately first.
For hours, people can tell me what has gone wrong over the past years. And believe me, they do. Sometimes I think: “I think I should just turn on a tape recorder at one party and play it to the other party, and vice versa….”
And then comes the moment I can ask my key question……….
“Have you ever talked to each other about this?”
Guess what’s almost always the answer….
Scary, huh? To talk to someone about stuff like that? Sure thing! But you don’t want to end up as Gertrude with her pit bull, do you?
Do you have the balls to start that conversation with that one colleague you simply can’t get along with and would you rather do that with your own “Bert” instead of alone? Call me on 06-41335607 or send me an email at email@example.com. And I’ll drop by for a preliminary conversation, without any hassle, without an invoice.