Three Ways To Know When Someone Is Not “Getting It”

I knew a kid once who, when you did something he liked, would say, “you get it.” The funny part about him saying that, was that he didn’t “get it” at all. He was very myopic and didn’t realize things were well beyond his view of life. This guy lived in fear of the other guy getting credit and looking better than he did. I found it very sad because his paranoia had to stem from some insecurity that caused him to behave so selfishly. Last week, someone said to me, “you get it” and it triggered the memory of this joker, and got me thinking about what it truly means to “get it.”

When you actually do “get it” – it’s not about the isolated incidents, but rather the sum of all parts. One instance or comment does not mean you actually do get it. One mistake doesn’t mean you don’t get it. But is consistency actually the key in the “getting it” business? Batters who hit over .300 are touted as knowing or getting how to hit. Batting .400 is the level of the best hitters in baseball history (there are 35 players in history who recorded an average of .400 or above. Boston’s own Ted Williams was the last to do so with a batting average of .406 in 1941). So, by baseball standards, really “getting it” means you do it right less than 40% of the time. So if consistency is suspect, what attributes does it take to actually get it?

Is getting it producing revenue? Is getting it creating something new and exciting? Is getting it saying the right thing at the right time? Who is the judge of getting it? Is getting it just kissing ass so someone will say, “you get it?” The thing about getting it – it’s as different for each individual as their personality. You’ve heard the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Well, “getting it” is the appraised in the same way. There are no anointed judges in the court of getting it.

For me, getting it is realizing the difference between what truly matters and what is just window dressing. It’s saying the truth, even when the truth doesn’t want to be heard. It’s standing up for what you believe in, even when you stand alone. It’s knowing that, at times, putting others ahead of yourself will actually result in more self-satisfaction than looking out for #1. Knowing that mistakes will happen, but that the true measure of a person is how they respond to the mistakes. Knowing that your kid’s game is more important than any professional game. It’s knowing that you’re human, and that sometimes you get it, and sometimes you don’t.

But regardless of the qualities of a person who “gets it” – three things are clear indicators of someone who absolutely doesn’t get it, doesn’t want to get it and whom you should get far, far away from. Always be suspect when folks Run, Duck and Hide.

Run: When issues arise and the person runs for the door, does not address the issue, and lets someone else handle the issue, with no regard for that person or the result. Anyone who runs away from a problem does not get it. They are selfish and only want to protect their ass. C.Y.A. is a clear indication of not getting it.

Duck: When someone lies to avoid being wrong, or takes credit for something that went well to make themselves look good in the eyes of others. A person who lies does not get it. I’m not referring to throwing out a little white lie to make someone feel good. If a person lies to make themselves look better, to discredit others, or to inflate their own ego, they do not get it.

Hide: When folks hide behind money, celebrity, or status to prove they are better than others. Just because you have money and possessions does not mean you get it. Just because you have title or celebrity doesn’t mean you possess what it takes to get it. In fact, it may mean you get it even less. There are folks who possess both money and power, use them wisely, and do in fact get it. However, these aspects, in and of themselves, do not equal getting it; to believe that they do is not getting it at all.

So whether you think my thoughts are on-target or off-base, beware of those who run, duck and hide, because the likelihood is those folks definitely do not “get it.”

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