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?
Tools for tough situations
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
The Responsibility Process Phase 1: I Blame Others
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.
The Responsibility Process
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.
The Story I Tell Myself of the Occasion
If it was up to our brain to decide, we would be the most important person of every story. Most often this interpretation is, however, wrong. It is a good idea to have a reality check by telling your version of the story and asking, how the other person sees it.
I’m Not Rude, I’m Just Having a Flow
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!
What Else Could This Mean?
When I’m wasting my breath complaining of something, my loved ones look at me gently and ask: “Elisa, what else could that mean?” It is irritating. But it works.
The Listening Position Tricks Your Brain to Stay Awake
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?
What If the Complaint Is Actually a Call for Help
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.
Why Did I Get Shouted at When I Just Offered Help?
We blame to ease our discomfort and pain. In those situations innocent people might get yelled at about non-related things without any fault.
When in Conflict It’s Important to Feel You’re on the Same Side
Conflict is a slightly sturdy word but in this article I mean every situation where two people face each other disagreeing about a thing, a situation or an opinion.
These too are worth your while
You’re not going to believe what I’m about to tell you
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.
Leadership and Self-Deception
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.