By Geoff Campbell and Aleksandra Corwin of Round Table Companies
The Exxon supervisor called, and he was heated.
“I was responsible for filling secretarial positions in the building, and when I picked up my phone, he started yelling at me,” Cindy Wigglesworth recalled. “Some little moment of grace inside me said, ‘Insert a pause here.’”
Her stomach wrenched with anxiety, Wigglesworth asked the supervisor if she could put him on hold to get rid of another call—a fiction designed to allow her a pause for a few deep breaths.
“I set a higher intention—I was going to shut up, listen, and be hyper present. I wasn’t going to defend,” Wigglesworth recalled. “And that little moment of grace, that inner wisdom—I wasn’t expecting it.”
When she returned to the line 20 seconds later, she dove into active listening by taking notes and repeating back what he said. By the time the call was over, he had completely calmed down and felt Cindy was an ally to solving his problem.
Wigglesworth said it was “a seed moment,” a foreshadowing of a deeper insight she’d later develop after her 20 years with Exxon, as part of something she called spiritual intelligence, or SQ.