In a past job I was tasked with helping teams improve. Long story short … one of the Directors would parachute into a team meeting occasionally and bully people into doing what he believed they should do. His behaviour involved an adversarial tone & body language, banging fist on the table, and just simply pushing until he got his own way.
I believed it as my responsibility to hold a mirror up to help him see the impact his actions were having on teams. The complication is that I reported directly to this Director. I lived with a knot in my stomach for about a week as I procrastinated while I ‘prepared’ to confront him. Not a great feeling! Finally after about a week I did confront him.
I learned a LOT about people, teams and myself as a result of experiences like this. With all of my coaching skills I now hold I know I would approach this discussion differently now. The whole experience of confronting my manager was not a good one. In retrospect it was actually the start of the end of my days working for this company (not necessarily a bad thing). However, it pales in comparison to my experience of confronting my own actions.
Dictionary.com defines Confront as “face up to and deal with (a problem or difficult situation)“. My Director was certainly a difficult situation as I had to tough out the reaction I knew would be coming my way for speaking up. This confront experience had a limited shelf life though, the butterflies would calm down and life would go on.
When I confront myself though I cannot escape. It lingers in my head for hours, days and sometimes weeks. It might even keep me awake at night. Those little voices start talking where I ask myself “I can’t believe I let myself get this way”. Sound familiar?
In my last post I talked about denial. Denial is a protection mechanism to avoid something uncomfortable for a period of time. As Christopher Avery commented, living in denial is not bad it’s just something we humans do.
The Three Keys to ResponsibilityTM are Intention, Awareness and Confront. I can remember almost 2 years ago when I joined The Leadership Gift ProgramTM I thought I knew what confront meant. At the time I would confront myself on what I thought were big issues (little did I know). I now see the ability to confront myself much like a muscle I need to build and exercise. Initially I would confront small things. Then with time this muscle became stronger, and I started taking on bigger things within me.
So why am writing about this now? I believe I’m becoming well versed in what it means to confront. I have spent a lot of time in the past year confronting myself, who I am, and what is my purpose in this world.
For example, last year I confronted a fairly big one. It led to me deciding to enter a program which will result in me being a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. If you know me certification isn’t the goal, it’s only a by-product of my efforts to be better. What I want more than anything is to become really good at serving others as their coach, regardless of whether I’m working with an individual or team. With each experience I now know I am focused on the right things and I can truthfully say “I have the best job ever!”
I’ve uncovered lots of areas I was living in denial and am confronting them. I know there will be more in the future but the reward is incredible:
The opportunity to approach life free, powerful and at choice!
What is possible if you are free, powerful and at choice in your life?
Confronting can be difficult to do alone. That doesn’t make you broken or bad in some way. It just makes you human. If you want to live free, powerful and at choice in more areas of your life you could consider:
- Go at it alone – This was my strategy for a long time and had helped me realize some improvements. I believe if you can at least approach yourself with intention it’s better than not at all
- Join The Leadership Gift ProgramTM – A community who always openly welcome new members, and made a big difference for me.
- Hire a coach – I did last year and it’s been one of the best investments I’ve made in myself. I’d be happy to talk about possibilities with you, or you can find any number of other coaches out there in this world.