In my own SpeakSTRONG Journey, I find myself continually making choices to keep conversations and relationships moving forward. Recently “Dillion” backed down on an offer he had made that I had based plans on. I felt the tug and pull toward pressuring him into delivering. I knew from my first hint of doing that that even if I “won” I would have lost. Things change, and even though Dillion’s reason sounded lame to me, I knew if I pressured him and he gave in, the result would be unsatisfying and it would damage the relationship. I also knew I wasn’t in the right mood, mindset or understanding to address the deeper questions I had about the situation.
When I feel my desire to pressure someone into giving me what I want, my kata, or practice, is to back off, let up and reflect. I have a phrase I focus that reflection around. It’s:
- How can I turn this problem into an opportunity? What can I do that could make me glad this happened exactly as it did?
Trust me here – I was tempted to go down a corridor of blame. I was tempted to build a case against Dillion filled with evidence of how I had been wronged.
But my kata – my communication practice – sends me down another corridor. I found another way to get my needs met – by someone who brought a whole different skill set to the equation. Once I had that in place, much of my judgment around Dillion dissolved. Without the judgment, our conversation about what happened and how we can count on each other in the future became much more productive than it would have been had I not pulled myself back from the corridor of blame.
Watch the paths you’re tempted to take in your SpeakSTRONG Journey. Make sure you have phrases ready that pull you back from ones you might wish you hadn’t taken.