This winter I visited Antelope Canyon, Arizona. I’d never even heard of it before we were brought there as part of a tour of the Grand Canyon, but now everyone needs to know about it.
It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. My husband, Eric, and I went into this underground cave that you can only visit if you take one of the tours run by the Navajo as it is part of a Navaho Tribal Park.
But that’s not really what this story is about… even though I would love to show you the hundreds of photos that I took there. :)
As we were driving out of the dirt parking lot in our little tour van, one of the van wheels slid into a sandier patch and started to sink. Our tour guide clearly hadn’t driven in anything that you might get stuck in before and so gunned the gas pedal, which spun the wheel and sunk us in further. We were stuck.
Having grown up in Canada, I’ve gotten stuck before – not in sand but in snow – so I knew that things needed to be done slowly and knew what to do to try and get out of the situation.
“Maybe try to rock it?” I suggested.
He nodded and got out of the van and started walking across the parking lot.
Confused, I watched him go and as he leaned down to pick up a few small bowling ball sized rocks I realized that a language barrier (his first language wasn’t English) and a lack of context, had him completely misinterpreting what I meant when I said he should "rock it."
Lesson one: Don’t assume people have the same information and context you do when you’re trying to guide them. Be as clear as possible and make sure they really understand what you mean.
Soon everyone in the van was out and a couple driving an RV stopped and started pulling out supplies and, together as a team, people tried to figure out what to do.
Lesson two: People like and want to help. Don’t assume that you’re being a bother when you need more people to get something done.
The problem was, there were now too many cooks in the kitchen, and nobody really acting as a leader, nobody really running the show. Then we heard someone yelling and I saw an older lady, clearly an elder from the Navaho Tribe, walking over as briskly as she could, with a clear purpose in her eyes, and she brought some of the other women of the tribe with her.
She tells everyone to stop, gets one of the tour guides in the van and tells her what she should do to get the van moving properly, and then tells everyone else to just push the van as hard as possible. Within two minutes the van was out of the sand.
Lesson three: Sometimes we just need to go to the voice of experience and let someone be the clear leader so things get done and move forward.
Soon we were in the van heading back to Las Vegas, and I couldn’t help but think my last experience in the Grand Canyon was a great lesson that I needed to really take note of (and share with you!).
Here’s what I hope you takeaway from this:
· Definitely add Antelope Canyon to your “bucket list.”
· Always make sure you’re being clear and people understand what you actually mean when you’re helping them.
· Know that people want to help you, don’t try to do everything alone (if you’re not in the Biz Studio Community - join us! There are LOTS of people there who want to help)!· Sometimes you need help from a confident leader with experience.