Dealing with Life’s Road Hazards

What have you run over with a vehicle?
How did you cope?

Our daughter Taylor and I had an unfortunate encounter with a large coyote on a recent road trip in West Texas.

On our two hour trip from Odessa to Lubbock, the animal ran in front of our car. While the incident was over in seconds, negotiating our next steps disturbed our plans for the day. In fact, we are still being inconvenienced by the event.

My belief is everything is a negotiation and MOST things can be negotiated. You should never compromise your integrity, your values, or your safety. As we pulled over to assess our options, we used the ASK method to deal with the situation. Like any surprise or change you find yourself negotiating, you can ASK yourself these questions to gain direction.

➡️ A-Aware. What could we observe?
We examined the car to see what damage had occurred. While the bumper was partially torn off the car and the windshield wiper fluid container was broken, the rest of the engine and the tires appeared sound.

➡️ S-Seek. What options are available? What information is needed to make a decision?
Taylor and I discussed calling for roadside assistance, flagging down a passing motorist, or attempting to do a temporary repair with the limited resources we had on hand.

➡️ K-Know your next step.
What is a logical next step? What do we know to do now?

Taylor and I attempted to “MacGyver” the bumper to see if the car could be road-worthy. We tied the bumper onto the frame with a phone charging cord. Next, we taped the front end with medical tape from the first aid kit. Then, we proceeded with caution.

We didn’t know if our engineered solution would hold in the wind, if the car would overheat, or if the tires were actually damaged. We knew to pay attention and be ready to make a different decision as needed. Once we got to town, we upgraded our solution with white duct tape and twine.

While we won’t be changing our careers or be considered capable mechanics, our DIY repair got us safely to our destination.

Next time you encounter an unexpected or unpleasant surprise at work or home, stop, breathe, and try the ASK Method (Aware-Seek Information-Know the Next Best Step/Question) to gain control and provide direction. You can’t avoid all the road bumps and detours, but you can manage how you deal with them.

Go Negotiate Your Life!