deer-in-campOn a hike on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) this summer, we were a group of 6 and we required a larger-than-normal space for camp that night. We found one about 17 miles in on the first day of this trip and were all tending to our respective “homes” for the night when we noticed a doe circling our area frequently and with a distinct concern in her body language.

We agreed to convene for dinner and as we sat around sharing an embarrassing moment that happened with us with a client, as we each took our turns sharing, the doe went by again…and again…and again.

Our group leader shared there are only 2 reasons a deer exhibits this behavior. I probed for further explanation and he shared that deer tend to get really close to humans and exhibit this circling behavior when a predator is on them. Oh boy! I thought. That’s totally going to help me get to sleep tonight…and I’m most certainly not getting up to go pee in the middle of the night!

We settled into our tents and Jason and I were constantly waking to the sounds of twigs and branches breaking underfoot of what we believed to be the deer continuing her circling behavior. So at some point, of course, our group discussed that the likely predator was a mountain lion – and apparently if the stories of the evening were true, there could likely be a mountain lion nearby. It made our first night’s sleep pretty terrible. #teamnosleep

Of note, I had remembered watching one of those nature documentaries and it shared that mountain lions prey during dawn and dusk…and of course we were setting up camp around dusk. Queue the creepy music.

Pretty Smart Tip: I liken this experience to some client interactions…sometimes things are said or unsaid – and it reminds me of the importance of understanding that tonality doesn’t come across in an email. After going back and forth by email a few times, it can become fairly obvious that you and the other person aren’t talking about the same thing necessarily. Or in some situations, feelings may be hurt as the result of how something was interpreted but not how is was intended. As soon as feelings start feeling wonky, I suggest jumping on the phone or Skype or other live platform and work it out together. That way you can save frustration on both parties as well as come to a resolution of what each person intended from their perspective.

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