Here’s the challenge….we have to engage in relationships to get work done. The question is HOW do YOU typically go about engaging these relationships, especially when you’re under some kind of stress? Are your behaviors typically the result of thoughtful responses or automatic reactions? This is a critical question, as the answer may significantly impact business outcomes.
Here are some very common reactive, behavioral patterns:
- ANGER, AGRESSION, EXPLOSIVE BEHAVIORS (Can’t stop from having unhealthy dialogue)
- CONFLICT AVERSION, DISTANCING (Can’t engage in a healthy dialogue)
- GOSSIP (Dumping anxiousness in the system to get temporary relief for yourself)
- OVER-FUNCTIONING (Anxiously trying to control others, aka. “micro-managing”)
- UNDER-FUNCTIONING (i.e. action and decision paralysis, constant advice-seeking)
- EXCESSIVE TOGETHERNESS (i.e. giving in to group think, not voicing your own opinion)
Science tells us that these behaviors are a form of instinctive reactivity; we engage them automatically. They come from that part of the brain that reacts to keep us safe. In other words, we engage in these behaviors without thinking about it because we feel threatened. It’s as if we’re on autopilot.
BUT THE PROBLEM IS: ALLOWING THESE REACTIVE BEHAVIORS TO BECOME YOUR USUAL WAY OF RELATING TO OTHERS.
So, as I’m prone to saying, a lot:
LEADERSHIP IS NOT JUST ACTIONS, BUT INTRA-ACTION WHEN YOU’RE IN THE PRESENCE OF OTHERS. ARE YOU TAKING RESPONSIBILITY TO MANAGE YOUR AUTOMATIC REACTIVITY OR IS IT MANAGING YOU?
A VERY REAL TEST OF MATURE LEADERSHIP IS THE ABILITY TO MANAGE YOURSELF AND YOUR REACTIVE BEHAVIORS WHEN YOUR RELATING TO OTHERS.
Think about it….more to come.