Do you face challenging behaviors or difficult people in your life?
“All the world is queer (odd) save thee and me,
and even thou art a little queer (weird).” – Robert Owen
Relationships are tough and take work.
It’s true for everyone…whether you have an MBA from INSEAD or graduated from the school of Street Smart or are too young for studies. Little issues escalate into big annoyances.
- Your manager “bosses” around, imposing demands without seeking your input
- Your colleagues are on the phone during your presentations
- Your partner treats you like a child, “Don’t forget to______”
- Your child repeatedly misbehaves…. again!!
There are two ways to handle such situations.
Either one party wins and the other loses (Win-Lose “negotiations”)….
Or no-one loses, and everyone gains. (Win-Win results)
It’s sooooo much easier said than done. That’s why I lead workshops to transmit skills to transform challenges into opportunities for growth for everyone.
Science-Based Relationship Tools
How does one travel from challenges to opportunities? With relationship tools. You and I tend to use the same tools over and again.
“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” – Abraham Maslow
The SoSooper workshops teach an array of relationship-building tools which build mutual respect, a sense of belonging, and the desire to positively contribute to the group.
These science-based tools are based on the work of Dr. Alfred Adler (author of Individual Psychology), Dr. Jane Nelsen (PhD in Education) and psychologist Lynn Lott. Nelsen and Lott designed the Positive Discipline approach of learning activities which engage the mind, body, and emotions
Photo Reportage of our Interactive Learning Workshop
These INSEAD alumni participated in an introductory conference on emotional intelligence.
Discover Also: SoSooper Workshops & Conferences for Teams at Work
Enjoy this glimpse of our event!
Welcome & Context
I introduce management as a day-to-day leadership development opportunity. We are building in our teams the skills and capabilities to thrive.
Notice on the photos how the group is fully attentive. No phones in sight!
As humans, we each have the fundamental needs to belong and to contribute. I put this into practice as of the start, inviting the group to contribute with chores to make our evening conference flow smoothly. We made a list of Jobs (scribe, clean up, photographer…). Once the list completed, I invited folk to volunteer for a task.
One of the principles of Adlerian Psychology and Positive Discipline is to be FIRM and KIND simultaneously. The group presented me with the opportunity to model that behavior.
Smile. “These Jobs still apply and we still need volunteers for each. Who would like to choose what?” Wait expectantly.
One by one, people stepped up to contribute. Thanks to each of you.
Oftentimes when a leader assigns a job to someone else, there remains a follow-up period. It’s like selling the need to do the work. This happens in the office as well as in the home. Since people volunteered, there was no more need for a convince-to-do-the-job effort.
Set the GPS
Next, as a group, we created two lists.
- Challenging behaviors of our colleagues and cohorts
- Talents & Life Skills we seek to develop in them and ourselves
No need to prompt with these. Suggestions flow, and fast. Difficult behaviors include perpetual negotiation, defiance, power struggles… Capabilities to develop include self-esteem, autonomy, desire for excellence, sense of humor….
These lists represent our GPS. The challenges represent our starting position, today’s situation. These issues create the invitation to act differently so that, instead of reacting to inappropriate behavior, we proactively train in appropriate conduct and demeanor.
Discovering a Tool
Much of the learning is done by allowing participants to discover the perspective of the other party. That is empathy!
Each of the fifty relationship tools presented in my full training programs is presented through a unique interactive exercise which, like this one, engages the whole person. Instead of theory, participants discover the learning principles for themselves. “Aha!”
In this activity, ten folk played the role of a boss and one father played the role of a team member. The “managers” gave the “team member” instructions.
“Get me the report by noon.” “Work it out.” “Don’t just sit there. Do something!”
We exaggerate the situations which invites participants to laugh at the scenarios.
After this first passage, we debrief the “team member” and discover that these instructions encouraged him towards the CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS, like defiance and resistance!
We embark on a second passage. This time “managers” present their request through a Firm and Kind question. “When can you get the report to me?” “What resources do you need to work it out?!” “Who do you need to contact to help resolve this situation?”
In debriefing, the “team member” says he feels both responsible and respected. He is invited to think. And he chooses to consider each question and probably act on it. In looking at the two lists, this time he identifies with the talents and skills. He’s learning decision-making, autonomie, and that he is capable. His confidence grows.
Through playing the scenario and discussion, participants arrrive at the conclusions themselves: giving people instructions generates resistance. Asking questions invites cooperation. Research indicates that our brains respond differently to statements and to questions. A query generates serotonin which relaxes the brain sufficiently to think of response. MRI studies also show that hearing questions generates response in the reward systems.
Giving people instructions generates resistance.
Asking questions invites cooperation.
This introduction to emotional intelligence provides a taster of the numerous aids to build relationships that respect BOTH the performance results needed for managers and the connection-needs of the employees.
Contact me to find out more and to plan a taster event for your network.