Here’s a little exercise on starting to understand yourself in different situations: Look back over the story of your life and identify situations that impacted you negatively. See if you can identify any extreme moments where you did not show up as you would wish – where theactions you took were not ones that you were proud of, and where the result and impact was not what you wanted - where you experienced being afraid or guilty. This is an example of how people who have a direct approach can cause upset without intending to, and this can be very detrimental for us in achieving our goals. I myself have a tendency to be too direct sometimes. So here’s a real example from my life: I was setting up a new business. My business partner introduced a new supplier who was dealing with some challenges in her life and was not delivering to the timescales or quality we had agreed. She came to a meeting unprepared and with her two little children…one of whom was very unwell. This made the meeting unworkable. I got frustrated and said ‘this is just not acceptable, we should reschedule’ in a fed up kind of tone. The supplier bursts into tears and walks out with her children…my business partner is upset and offended that I was rude to one of her trusted suppliers and the rest of our meeting together is clouded by upset and unproductive. The impact of this direct approach created a suppressed working relationship between my business partner and me for over a week.
I worked through this by looking at my behaviour and the impact this had. Really taking ownership for what I had caused and then having conversations with my business partner and our supplier to apologise and put right the situation.
This experience has enabled me to appreciate the importance of being sensitive to others’ feelings and valuing the relationship as much as the task.
My colleagues also have learned…for them it was kind of the opposite…how to speak up when time or quality being delivered was not consistent with achieving the goal.
As a result, my business partners and I have a deep amount of trust in each other and value each other at a level that was not possible before. We have no hesitation in bringing people we know and trust into the business and everyone has an experience of being known and appreciated for their contribution – whilst still working through unworkable situations…but just in a more thought through way. I have also been able to bring this learning to my clients.
Over the past few years, I have been working with people to help them understand themselves in different situations so that they can increase their effectiveness and impact at work.
I am now making this training accessible through my new community CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT.