On the corridors of many workplaces wander alienated, discouraged and mentally quit employee zombies. Giving up is our mental getaway, when the pressure of shame and obligation becomes too much to bear.
Within every conflict there’s a possibility for growth
It’s easy to be a good team player on days when everybody is happy. It takes a whole lotta more talent to be a good team player on other days, when opinions, goals and personalities clash. However, each argument, conflict and difficult situation contains a possibility to develop as a human being.
These situations feel uneasy at first. We have a tendency to avoid discomfort, fear and rejection. In addition to that, most of us have been brought up to believe one should not argue. No wonder we would like to circle around difficult topics and put out any potential conflict as fast as possible. But that is not a sustainable way of dealing with things.
Not all arguments are necessary. I want to help you to recognize the ones that are. I want to provide you with tools to withstand and endure difficult situations and deal with challenging people. What is good argument like? How can you disagree in a constructive manner? How to find the growth within the conflict?
Start with these
“I just have to take care of these, do this and execute that. It is my responsibility.” This is normally considered as responsiblity but, confusingly, it is still one step away from actually taking responsibility.
How can I be this bad and useless? I will admit being at fault, dwell in shame and beat myself up for making a mistake. It’s such a shame that this won’t actually solve the problem, though.
This is what it is around here. This is simply how the projects go and clients act. And there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. Or is there?
It most certainly was NOT my fault. This is our minds first conclusion when we encounter adversity or a problem. And then we keep on searching until we find the one to blame.
It was not my fault, this sucks and do I really have to? This is our automatic way of thinking, but it is not the best possible train of thought to have. If we move from these steps onwards, we are rewarded with better solutions and less anxiety.
It is actually possible that your boss, team leader, colleague and spouse have no idea what kind of damage they produce if they interrupt you in the middle of your work. Tell it to them!
If you were a hostage negotiator and you would be sitting around a table waiting intently for a phone to ring, in what position would you be sitting?
If the other person clearly would need advice, but for one reason or another won’t ask for them, there’s a magical trick you can perform: ask permission to give advice.
We blame to ease our discomfort and pain. In those situations innocent people might get yelled at about non-related things without any fault.
These too are worth your while
We want to keep our worldview. If we’re presented with facts that argue against our core beliefs, instead of changing our core beliefs we become angry, defensive or even aggressive. This batshit-f*cking-bonkers behaviour* has a scientific name called the backfire effect. Read all about it from this brilliant comic.
* The Oatmeal’s terminology, not mine.
The Arbinger Institute, 2009
I’m right and others are mostly wrong. I’m hard-working and do things right, others are lazy and do a poor job. I cannot trust anything to others, I’ll do it better myself anyway. People simply don’t appreciate enough what I do for them. If any of these sentences is a recurrent thought in your head, read this book. Preferably right now and repeat every second year or so.