We are all tempted to say things in the heat of the moment that we know we should not say.
Our feelings are hurt, and we want the other person to know how hurt we are. But lashing out at the other person will only make the situation worse. It will quickly change a heated discussion into an argument, and nobody wins an argument.
There is one trick that can diffuse an argument before it even starts. It’s the “I hear…” defense. When someone gets angry and lashes out, respond with something like “I hear that you are upset.” They may agree and lash out again. A great response could be “you seem very upset by that.” What you are doing is acknowledging their anger without feeding it. In fact, this defense usually calms the other person down because they have no more fuel for their fire. Then, once they are calm, you can start to present your side of the case. This defense will take time to master, but will make you a great negotiator whether it is in your marriage, a business deal, or with relatives over the holiday table.
Forbes magazine recently wrote an article here about a study that was conducted on whether people that worked remotely were happier. Unfortunately, the study does not say how long the employees were working remotely.
Working remotely has a lot of advantages. There is little to no commute, distractions are (sometimes) much less, and work/life balance can benefit from such an arrangement.
However, there are some disadvantages as well. Humans were built for community, even introverts like myself. As much as I love my quiet office, even I have to stick my head out every once in a while and get some real human interaction. But, working remotely does not have that option. I would guess that the happiest remote workers have found a way to be more social while they work. I know many extroverts that would be gnawing pencils in half if they worked remotely without the possibility of social interactions.
The best way to influence a leader is to find out what factors are already influencing them.
This sounds difficult on the surface, but it is not as tough as it seems. Here are some strategies:
- What is their frame? How are they feeling? What factors are going on that may be influencing how they are thinking and feeling? Could these factors be making them happy, sad, depressed, etc.?
- Where is their focus? What are they thinking about now? What is consuming their thoughts? Social media is a great way to determine this. What are they posting about?
- What can you do to help them change (or enhance, if their focus is on good things) their frame and focus? Do you have possible solutions for their problems? Is there a way you can be there for them? Can you help them get to the next level?
Influencing a leader is about helping them with their problems and promoting their successes.
There is an old saying: “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” -Theodore Roosevelt.
Zig Ziglar said that you can get everything you want out of life if you help enough other people get what they want.
IBM has more than 60 certified coaches among its ranks, and many other major organizations have made executive coaching a core part of their development.