Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Avoiding Defensiveness When Being Dismissed or Played

"No matter how beautiful the theory, one irritating fact can dismiss the entire formulism, so it has to be proven." 

~ Michio Kaku

The other day on the golf course, a male golfer who we were playing with said to me "What you need to understand is..." at that moment, as I realized what was, unfortunately, happening, my husband, Michael, put his hand gently on my arm as if to say 'I see you, even if he does not'.

I felt myself tense as the words and attitude of the speaker brought a directness that was overbearing and dismissive all at the same time.

Sure, I wanted to scream or snap back, and yet that would not have been my best moment or choice. I was not going to be played. What did I do? The same thing I encourage you to do when you are dismissed or felt like an approach someone takes with you is insulting:

1) Be thankful that person showed themselves to you, and say something like "Thanks for letting me know how you feel about that."

2) Repeat back what you heard with words like "Sounds like you believe..."

3) Bring a calm perspective with verbiage such as "Here's something to please consider..."

4) End the discussion when you want with "Let's please leave it here with this..." or "Let's please respectfully close on this..."

To follow my example, I said "Thanks for sharing your view. It sounds like you believe XYZ, and while your view is yours, please consider that it may not be that of others. Let's please leave this at being respectful of each of us having the right to believe what we believe and forcing a view, or assuming you can force a view, isn't appropriate. Thank you." We hit our balls. I was sincere in my compliments of his good shots. We had a good round. If I hadn't stood up for myself, the round would have been a waste.

So, don't be dismissed, be direct. Don't be played, be powerful. When you are grateful, confirm what you heard, stay centered, and own the end of the experience, you may have felt dismissed at first and you will likely feel empowered last! 

#DoYourBest #ProfessionalDevelopment #PersonalDevelopment #KIND  #Leadership #EmotionalIntelligence #PerformanceCoaching #Growth

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