You know what really gets my goat? When people make assumptions. Specifically, when people make assumptions about me. Like “oh she probably doesn’t know about that, because she’s too young/old/female/short/athletic/uneducated etc.” It really just burns me up. And when I’m burning on the inside, I’m very quiet and brooding on the outside. Until I just can’t take it anymore, and I explode. And that is good for exactly no one.
In the world of working with other people, a lot of assumptions are made. Which means there’s ample opportunity for me to turn into my jaw clenching, too quiet, brooding self. And while it’s unlikely that I’ll explode on someone I don’t know intimately, I certainly never want to get to the point where I may be pushed to that point.
So I’ve had to learn to take a pause. A momentary breath. Usually a literal breath. And a loud one. And maybe even to excuse myself from the situation for a moment while I think of the appropriate way to move forward.
We tackled this idea at the 21/64 Training 101 program that I had the absolute pleasure to attend a few weeks ago. This idea of “Staying Calm And Centered.” And I want to assure you, my reader and potential client, that I have taken the following 4 action steps very seriously so that if I’m ever triggered in a meeting/talk/panel etc., I will not brood, but will instead make a conscious effort to stay positive. Those action steps are:
- Name it! That is- what is this thing that just triggered my jaw clench? Was it the presence of assumptions, or something else. Knowing your triggers is the first step to freedom!
- Pause…. Take a breath, and de-escalate.
- Shift the energy. That is, if I’m standing, perhaps move to another area, or sit down. Or shift the tone of my voice, or maybe even the person who’s speaking.
- Respond. But not in an explosion. Maybe choose to add this idea to the agenda at a later time, or take the conversation off-line.
I pride myself on being able to handle a myriad of situations but the truth is we all have our triggers, and we can never know in advance when we’re going to be faced with them. By consciously choosing to follow these 4 steps, I’ve already made progress in some challenging relationships in my life, and I look forward to how they will continue to serve me in my future.
If you are interested in learning this skill, or a whole host of others, I HIGHLY recommend that you look into the Facilitation Training that 21/64 offers. Yes, it is geared towards Philanthropy and tools for giving. But I promise you won’t be disappointed. Check out all they have to offer here: www.2164.net