Today a client was talking about the toughest part of her job being having to deal with all the politics and personalities, the people stuff hey! And they say you should never work with children or animals. After coaching 5 year olds through the soccer season this winter, it has been a breeze compared to the challenges and experiences of working with adults over the course of the last 25 plus years.
Here’s a few things to consider:
1) Everyone is doing the best they can with the current resources, skills and knowledge they have. We’re all human. It’s not our job to try and change people. What we can change though, is our interpretation of their behaviour (and our own) and what we make it mean. It’s a reflection of their thinking (how they’re acting) and ours (how we’re responding and acting).
2) Under pressure we all have a default level of thinking and behaviour that we revert to, that keeps us safe, comfy, it’s the known, it’s also habit and routine. Sure it may not be the most resourceful, but it is absolutely what someone knows (so they’ll do it again and again) even when you’re wondering …. why on earth?
3) Most people have no awareness of their default behaviour or that they can shift their level of thinking, which in turn would impact their behaviour. For example, some people have no awareness that their vague and ambiguous conversation drives some people mental as they’re circling around conversations and not saying what needs to be said. Some of us want the plane landed!!! You know, you’ve been in those meetings when all you want to say to someone is “Say what you want to say, quickly, concisely and articulately – you have 1 minute – go!”. It’s not everyone’s thing. Watching someone struggling yesterday, getting in a flap, all I wanted to say was “Breath, slow down and back yourself buddy!”
4) Meanwhile others have no knowledge that their trumpet blowing is overated, overstated ego at it’s hugest. Please, really….! And the flip, the self-deprecation is which is actually still trumpet blowing but in the reverse. Fill up your own tank up internally, instead of needing to walk around and verbalise it with everyone else. We’re in charge of our own level of significance, stop expecting the world to meet the need for it, meet it yourself. That’s your own pat on the back, I’m all good, mini-hi five moments, whatever you need, do it yourself. Most people say to me, when coaching, “oh I don’t need that, I’m fine”, yep, but everyone needs it, it’s a core human need and driver. The key is to fill it up yourself, rather than walking around blowing your own trumpet all the time, or putting yourself down expecting others to blow it for you and make you feel better!! Be better yourself.
So whether you bite, bark or roar, or not, let’s be curious, very curious about what’s going on behind the scenes. Human behaviour is fascinating. We’re all so different, it’s partially innate personality, environmental situations and has a tonne to do with the way we were brought up, what we think, believe and value. So if you reckon you do with some more roar, stoke your own fire, believe you can. No one can take or give you ‘confidence’. It’s an internal thing based on the meanings you give events, situations, conversations around you and it comes from the action you take, or don’t. So if barking and biting ain’t working for you and it’s time to do it a little differently, instead of falling back into old habits, have a crack at something different, try a new tactic, have a different conversation, it may surprise you?