Hey, how are your stress levels these days? You know, I think for all of us more than two years into a worldwide pandemic, we’d be excused for having a certain amount of stress, you know. Add that on top of all of the normal, day to day living, that we do at work and at home with those around us.

There’s stress, I pick up on it, when I have conversations with people all the time, there’s a certain amount of stress. You know, years ago, my wife actually said to me, I feel like I have to stress twice as much because you don’t stress enough. So, I’ve learned how to better deal with my stress and name it and work on it so that she doesn’t feel like she needs to carry all the load.

So, we woke up this morning, and I was feeling a little bit of stress, if I’m being honest, you know, there was some, some unease, you know, a disturbance in the force, if you will, for those of you to Star Wars fans. I decided to go for a run as I do and as I was running, I tried to clear my thoughts get to the source of, this tension, this stress that I was feeling. As I ran, I started to recognize that it has to do with the relationship that I have, and that I realized that there’s probably a conversation that I need to have to address this, situation, this issue.

So rather than play that out with all of you here, what I will share is the way that we help others, here at Fierce Inc., to get to the source of their stress, and then find a path forward to break through and to be successful with those around them, the ones that matter to them most. What we recognize in these kinds of situations where there’s a bit of tension, and there’s something going on between a couple of people, there’s some emotions here. And oftentimes people will not have these conversations for fear of how it might go. And then we always tell ourselves, or often tell ourselves that this isn’t going to go well.

So we’ll give ourselves excuses for not having the conversation. And then we’ll just store it up and store it up and save it and collect some more data until finally we can’t handle it anymore. Our emotions overcome us and we just explode all over the other person and it doesn’t go well. It probably does make things worse than than before. And so what we recognize is there’s a need to prepare to really skillfully have this conversation to free up your stress and enrich the relationship with the other person.

If we don’t prepare, we sometimes find ourselves tiptoeing into the conversation will ask an innocuous question like, so how’s it going? And if you listen to that question, you’ll realize it’s pretty disingenuous, right? We know how it’s going. That’s why we’re having this conversation. It also, by the way, opens up the conversation for the other person to take control and steer in the direction that they’d like to carry it. So really prepare for this conversation.

There’s a model that we share with our clients, you know, and it’s really straightforward, consider what’s the situation, can you name the situation of what’s going on? What’s the, the behavior, the performance, the thing that’s going on? And then share an example of that, so that when you’re sharing it with your partner, they can get an image of what you’re talking about?

Certainly name your emotion, how is it impacting you, rather than acting your emotions out? Let them know that you’re impacted that you’re affected that you’re human, after all, and you have some emotions around this? Let them know what’s at stake, given this situation, what’s at stake in your ability to work together effectively, perhaps what’s at stake for them in their continued success in the organization, maybe it’s not just with you, it’s others. And you’re giving them some insight to be more successful?

Certainly explore for yourself and discover what have you done to contribute to this situation with this other person? What, have you done to achieve the current results that you’re experiencing, as it relates to working with this other person? Showing that you have some accountability, opens them up to share their accountability, going forward. And then you want to show your positive intent. This isn’t a blaming or shaming conversation, this is really about you wanting to move to a better place with them. And so you would let them know. That’s what it looks like, from my perspective, I’d really like to understand what it looks like from your perspective. Please talk with me, help me help me see what you’re seeing as it relates to the situation.

So once you’ve done that you’ve shared your perspective, and it happens in a minute or less. That is enough time for somebody to really stay present in the conversation without having their amygdala get tweaked; and they can go off into some some rabbit trails. Then you turn it over to them, you go into full curiosity mode, and make sure that they feel really heard and understood as they’re sharing what that situation looks like from their perspective. Once that happens, they’re empty and feeling really heard. Then, it’s time to turn the corner, at this point, you’ve been focusing in the past and the rearview mirror.

Now it’s time to look towards the future, through the windshield of this vehicle, you’re traveling down the road with this person with metaphorically, and then start to focus on what do you need to do to move forward you know, ask each other these questions. What have I learned? Here’s what I learned. What have you learned? What do we need to move forward? Is there anything else that needs to be said that we haven’t said yet.

Then you’ve performed some commitment, you say this is what I’ll do to move forward successfully. And your partner, what will they do to move forward and you hold each other able and capable as adults to behave in this way to really enrich your relationship to be successful, going forward, really focus on all the best qualities that enrich the relationship between you and them. Reduce your stress, travel through life lightly. Life is short, and at the very least, get a really good night’s sleep.

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