There are demands coming from several fronts. There are complaints echoing off the walls. There are attacks spewing from your small and mean-spirited co-workers.
Before you even have a chance to implement any game plan of your own, you’re knocked off balance and reeling from what feels like an assault on all sides.
Demands, complaints and attacks are not unusual workplace dynamics. But when they all come at once it can be overwhelming.
Instead of your usual calm and measured poise, you find yourself angry, defensive, and ready to strike back.
This is the moment when you need to set down the phone, step outside, and walk around the block three times.
The first trip around the block is for venting. Wave your arms in the air. Kick a tree or two. Shout out all those colorful adjectives that describe everyone else so well. Wish devastation and destruction on anyone who deserves it. Get it out of your system.
The second trip around the block is for taking stock. Try to get in other peoples’ shoes and understand what is driving their actions. You aren’t trying to excuse their behavior, but to understand its underlying causes so to more effectively respond. Try taking a step back and getting a different, deeper and more expansive perspective.
The third trip is for choosing what you will do next. A measure of your original calm, measured poise has returned, but you still need to reengage with the turmoil inside the building. But now you are choosing out of a completely different frame of mind. A fresh, more clear frame of reference.
While many of the difficulties inside will be just as intense as when you walked outside, now you are engaging from a sounder, more intentional, more reasoned place. Your choices will be better, your attitude will rub off on others, and everyone will be able to move forward more effectively.
Yes, you’ll still be functioning in the original battlefield of demands, complaints and attacks; but now you’ll be more fully functional.
On your side,
- Karl Edwards