Other People Got You Frustrated? Try Firm and Caring.

Our emotions dramatically influence others. Negative emotions push people away, put them on the defensive, and make it harder for them to do their jobs. Positive emotions invite them closer, inspire them, and make getting stuff done so much easier.

So we must tread extremely carefully when we notice that other people’s behaviors may delay or prevent some result we want, that is, when we see them doing the wrong things or not doing the right things. Under the pressure we all feel to get things done, to be seen as effective, to win, etc., we may jump to the conclusion that a frustrated or angry response is justified and effective. But we are more likely to further delay or prevent desired results with our emotions and their reactions.

The trick is not to suppress our frustration or anger. Nor is it to give in and let people get away with ineffective behavior. The trick is to be both firm and loving. We direct our anger at the behaviors we see while doubling down on our acceptance of, belief in, care for, and trust of the people doing the behaviors. Once we strike this attitude, we can say something like, “That approach is not going to be effective because {fill in your reasoning}. And I am completely confident that you can not only correct this but hit or surpass our targets. Would you be up for a conversation now or soon about how you might do this?”


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: balharsh Laughing dove -Male via photopin (license)

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