When you bring people together, you’re going to experience some clash of perspectives.
This may morph into a siege complete with hand-grenade insults and temper tantrums. Or a quiet icy silent embargo. I’ve been on the receiving, and giving, end of both.
Welcome to office politics.
But you don’t have to just shrug it off as a necessarily evil of modern business.
Indulge me for a moment with this possibility: Imagine a workplace where meetings are a celebration of achievement, or a juicy exploration of possibility and planning; where conversation is frank and fearless, full of respect and robust discussion; where you can share an opinion without getting scoffed at, dismissed or ridiculed; where there is no sub-text, subterfuge, or hidden agendas; where even in crisis, the organisational boat remains on its keel, even though it may bend to the forces of disruption.
This is not Utopia. This is what is possible for you if you learn how to have less drama.
Here are some critical tips to less drama and more peace in the work place (and home place!):
1. Learn to RESPOND and not REACT to circumstances. Easily said; often not/rarely done. It takes a huge amount of self awareness and vivid attention to the present moment to notice and short circuit emotional reactions. I coach my clients to press PAUSE on their emotional hot buttons and breathe through it to disperse the overwhelming urge to, say, thump someone, or poke a small furry animal in frustration.
2. De-triggerify yourself. This means ensuring all your personal needs are fully met. Get enough sleep. Exercise. Eat well. Limit alcohol and caffeine. Book in regular holidays. Get a massage. Play. When your well-being is in peak shape, you will be less likely to have a brain implosion over the mess at the photocopier or the dirty mugs in the sink.
3. Celebrate and advocate love in the workplace. I don’t mean covet thy co-worker; I do mean be fully open and appreciative of those you work with and let them know you care. Words like LOVE, and SOUL, and SUPPORT, and CARING are much maligned softer words. Get over it and get on with it. People are desperately calling out for more humanity at work. Be the leader here.
4. Take a larger view. There is a part of you that is deeply noble, kind, patient, and wise. This has been called many names – essential self, Higher Self, soul. This is the part of you that knows when you are off-course from deeply held values, when you are not being your best, and gently guides you to be a better leader. Learn to listen to this voice of wisdom, rather than the cranky, whingy voice that is full of criticism for Susie’s latest fashion faux-pas, or Jerry’s incompetency and recent stuff up. The Essential You is better than the snipey, whining voice; or the cowering, fearful voice; or the judgmemtal, self-berating critical voice. Learn to hear the deep wisdom within you.
5. Know thy purpose. When you are deeply connected to your vision and purpose, guided by your values, then the hard decisions become easier. You know what your priorities are, and though the decision may be unpleasant, that deep inner knowingness will defuse the angst and dissipate the drama.