This past week we talked about, “The story I’m telling myself.”
Looking for a way to defuse a situation? Start with the story. Looking for a way to face confrontation? Start with the story. Wow. Talk about a show stopper. The moment someone is taken off both the offensive and defensive by a statement like, “The story I’m telling myself…” is amazing.
Think about this. A co-worker isn’t pulling their weight and you’re required to confront them about patients and missed assignments.
You might say, “Look, Johnathan. The story I’m telling myself, is that you are behind in your work and you have been gone when I needed you multiple times today and so it makes me think you don’t care that the rest of us have to pull your load. I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt here. What’s happening?”
This is still confronting the problem, but the moment you start with “I” statements is when you are so much more capable of connecting with the person and getting the real answer about a situation you have to confront. You give them the opportunity to explain themselves and fuel the environment of open communication.
This not only works in the real time of the worksite, but it’s extremely valuable when it comes to other areas of your life. With your children, a spouse, or just in your own head.
Just yesterday I found myself provoked by something that shouldn’t have provoked me. Instead of beating myself or them up in my head, I started mentally with, “The story I’m telling myself is that abc, and therefore xyz.”
We think in emotions, not sentences. The moment we can articulate the “why” of our emotions is the moment that anger starts to defuse and productive forward thinking comes back into play.
I hope this principle helps you this week. It’s done wonders for me.
Once again, this idea comes from Brene Brown’s recent presentation, “A Call to Courage”.