As I look back on the challenges my clients are dealing with right now I see two common themes – difficult people and lack of clarity.
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First, people are difficult for one reason – they are insecure and unhappy. That shouldn’t become your problem, but often difficult people exude what looks like confidence. This gets them promoted to high-level positions. That perceived confidence is a smoke screen to hide what is behind the sand they kick up. Underneath they feel unqualified, ineffective and ultimately that they may lose respect, their job and be alone. Knowing this your goals are:
1. Make sure they know you have their back even though they will never have yours.
2. Preface your suggestions in alignment with what they value. “Since I know this is important to you…….”
3. Stay off their radar screen. Don’t play into their chaos. Don’t meet with them unless necessary. Give them choices as it underscores their power. Don’t posture to be favored. Let others live in the chaos.
4. If you feel you are a target, repeat steps 1 to 3.
These steps are difficult especially when you don’t care for the person. Therefore, you must check your ego at the door. Don’t battle a difficult person. They are meaner than you and you will lose. Be smart. Know how to interact with them in a way that makes them trust you and leave you alone. Let them focus on others who need more attention.
Secondly, regarding clarity – it is not found on the treadmill to nowhere. Continually trying new things and making changes for the sake of change will not work. Rediscover your internal drivers. Name the single thought that holds you back and tell yourself many times each day that you are releasing that. What did you love to do as a child? Make some time to be somewhere where you have nothing to do but enjoy the environment. Listen to old music. Take free personality tests to uncover more about yourself. Be able to describe your strengths and weaknesses. What three things do you value more than anything? What could you do if you had the time?
When you willingly release what holds you back and make space to realign your values with your strengths clarity evolves organically.
Retire the treadmill to nowhere and your ego’s need to seek approval from unkind people. You’re awesome!
If you like these tips, here’s a link to my new FREE eBook – 31 Executive Presence Practices for Leaders in the High Stakes Corporate World.
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.
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