When I see conflict in the workplace it often relates to turf. Someone feels threatened. Something is at stake. Some compromise needs to be made that leaves people uncomfortable. And people retreat to their respective corners to protect their territory. After all, change means giving up something — right?
Not always. Change often means opportunity. But opportunity is hard to see when shielded by the blinding rays of pride. And pride is the rose-colored sunglass of fear. “I’m not afraid. If he/she would just ___________ (do their job, not expect so much, leave things alone, be nicer to me, show respect) this problem would not be happening.”
When you are involved in a conflict and feel the adrenaline rush grip you in a panic just pause. If you practice this, over time, you will be able to increase that “Pause Café space” between when you feel fear and negatively react to it, compromising your executive presence. In the pause moment ask yourself the following questions to diffuse the situation and desensitize to it.
3 questions to ask yourself in the Pause Café moment
1. What do I notice is happening inside of me right now? Where do I feel it? Name it. (Allow the threat or fear to flow through you like a river – don’t fight it.) Not “I will not be afraid.” But “Oh, this is what it’s like to feel threatened. I see you.”
2. What is asking for acceptance?
3. How can I meet what is happening inside of me right now with unconditional friendliness – like I would advise a friend? (No judgment.) “May I be gentle with myself in this moment?”
Stay in the moment and not in the future practicing failure. Embrace what you are running from and be comfortable with the discomfort. Trust yourself not the fear in your head. You have everything you need right inside you.
For a free tip sheet on the Pause Café Strategy click here.
Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and corporate CEO who helps busy leaders get off the treadmill to nowhere to be more effective, earn more, be more calm and enjoy connected relationships with the people who matter while it still matters. Watch her FREE Master Class training on Three Things to Transform Your Life and Career Right Now at www.MaryLeeGannon.com.