Education Opinion

Challenging People

By LeaderTalk Contributor — April 29, 2009 1 min read
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Now, be honest. Ever have one of those long days (or a string of long days) where you wonder what life would be like if all the people you encountered during the day would be pleasant and agreeable every single day? I’m not saying that they just nod their head “yes” after everything you say or periodically interject, “Brilliant idea!” after you suggest something. I’m talking about having interactions where people act mature and rationale and if they don’t agree with something you said or did, they would state it in a mature and rationale way and you could agree to disagree or you could change your mind. Or if you didn’t agree with something they said or did, they would accept it in a mature and rationale manner.

I am creating change in my workplace and therefore, it is causing people to be upset, mad, angry, passive aggressive and threatening. Sure, there are people who are happy about the changes that are occurring and welcome it. But at the end of the day, my mind tends to wander back to the ones who are the loudest, who are in my face, who are being the most resistant and who are putting up roadblocks.

Do I sometimes wish I wasn’t dealing with the challenges they present? I’d be lying if I said no. But I have learned to accept that there is something I am supposed to learn from the experience of being with them. Maybe it is to be more clear in my communications; maybe it is to be a better listener; maybe it is to offer them something they want or maybe it is to reaffirm the direction I’m heading.

When I’m feeling challenged by something or someone, I try to take some quiet time to think. What’s troubling me about the situation? What feelings am I having? What are my options? What can I do to change the situation? What might be the motive for the other person’s behavior?

Realizing that these people aren’t in my life to screw up my day or to make me miserable has helped to keep me from inhaling a bag of chocolates in one sitting. I can choose how I am going to react and I can learn something from the experience. And maybe, they will learn something in return.

Reggie Engebritson

The opinions expressed in LeaderTalk are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.