My wish for you is peace through self-awareness.
Stephen Covey is credited with saying, “you have a split second to decide how you will react or respond to a situation.” It is that mature and self-aware person who can use that split second to respond in a way that has positive influence instead of undermining themselves as a leader.
We all have tendencies. They are pretty hard-wired. I can tend to be a bulldozer. If I want something done and feel pressure of time or urgency or anything else, I know others can experience me in a not so pleasant way. While I cannot change those tendencies, I can definitely be aware of them and take that split second to respond differently. Some folks are not bulldozers. I love those folks, and sometimes they have something to contribute but they tend to not share for a variety of reasons, and we don’t get their good ideas. While they cannot change those tendencies, they can be aware of them, and realize when they might need to speak up even though they are uncomfortable. Again, there is about a split second that they have to contribute to a conversation before the opportunity has passed.
I have three questions I suggest people use to determine how they could react that might be more beneficial than the tendency they typically follow.
1. What is it I am trying to accomplish?
a. If something needs to get done, what is the real end game here, and what do I need to say, and how do I need to say it so that we can work together to accomplish it? If I don’t contribute, what will be the outcome? If I force my opinion, what will be the outcome?
2. What do I want long-term for this relationship?
a. Do I want a long-term relationship? If I don’t contribute, what will be the message I am sending to the others I am working with? If I push my way or my idea, what message am I sending? How will that impact my ability to build trust and influence with those in the relationship?
3. How do I want the person/people on the other side of me to experience me?
a. Does it serve me or them to be experienced as a pushover? As a bully? As someone who is indecisive, or unclear, or not transparent?
People can deal with authenticity. We are all human. If you are frustrated, or don’t know the answer, or confused, or feel like someone else needs to help, most people will have grace and accept that. If you are not authentic, they will see right through you. This will totally undermine your ability to influence and lead your team, your organization and even your family.
How can you take that split second to consider how you are being experienced, before you respond or don’t respond to a person, challenge, or opportunity? Try these three questions the next time it comes up.