Posts Tagged ‘feelings’

Success takes us to difficult places. Imagine getting the big promotion and finding the engineer from hell heading the department from which you need cooperation. A flood of feelings can surface – rage, fear, anxiety, going blank, etc. What to do?

First, let me say it is best to avoid trying to get the feeling to go away. Embrace it. Why is that? First of all, it will only intensify if you fight it. Second, in that intensity you can lose yourself and cause havoc to occur. Let’s explore.

The feeling can stem from a number of things. This blog is limited to one source, which has to do with an aspect of the weaker part of psyche. So why bother with this weak part? Shouldn’t one just add to strengths and push through? You can but there is an issue with this when taken to an extreme. A strength taken too far leads to weakness based on a one-dimensional approach to everything. Many people take this approach. Look at it realistically, though. You’ve probably worked with someone like this. Can you recall the feelings you had when around this person? Why should others feel any different about you if you try acting similarly?

If we get down to it, there is a big plus to addressing emotional intensity within oneself. It can work when dealing with others, as the following story will show.

The assignment was in Manhattan with an important client. After checking in at the hotel a phone call was placed to the client. None of my support materials had arrived. Panic!

Going to an office supply store the night manager of the printing department was given my copy of the materials. He promised I’d have copies by 7:30 AM the next day. I felt like a winner!

Arriving promptly the next morning at 7:30 there turned out to be no copies. The day manager became “testy,” to say the least.  Rage and panic surged within me. I started escalating with him and use my strength of pushing through in a focused, insistent way to get things done. Before going too far with that approach a question fell out of my mouth, “Does he do this to you often?” The manager stopped dead and asked, “Do what often?”

“You know, promise at night a job that has to be delivered on your shift and then he just goes home without logging the job or starting on it.” He was surprised and his emotions turned on a dime. “Yes, he does this to me all the time. Serving my customers means a lot to me and I am stuck with his messes!”

I asked, “What can we do? I need your help.”

He replied, “What do you need to get through to noon today?” Immediately I selected the bare bones that would get me by until noon and decided to throw myself on the mercy of the client by making the commitment in my mind we would complete the assignment but for just this morning the work would be rearranged a bit. I was able to get to the client’s on time, abridged material in hand, explain the situation and get down to work. The remainder of the print job was not only done by noon but they delivered it free of charge. The next morning I went back and thanked the day manager.


So what was this about? In a word, “Acceptance”. Acceptance of Powerlessness. The night manager had taken the day manager and myself hostage. The unfairness of life was squatting on our heads.

The freedom to act came through the acceptance of the powerlessness and shifting on the spot to empathy with the day manager and answering the question, “What can we do with what we have?”

Those intense feelings that were starting to surge were about not having control. They had a message within them. They were life knocking on the door going, “Hello, time to go a little deeper to get a little stronger!”

I learned a great deal about letting go of emotionality in that split second when the question came out.

As the Paradigm Shifts #X: Xenophobia

by Rosie Kuhn on October 5, 2011

Xenophobia is defined at Wikipedia as “an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers, or of that which is foreign or strange”.

My sense is that we are all xenophobic. We are all wary of new people, new things and ideas that, though proven by research to be effective means to improve bottom lines, financially and in every other aspect of life, we are too afraid to let go of our inflexibility and invulnerability to try something new.

It’s not uncommon for those who experience xenophobia to fear losing their roles, their positions and identity. We can be suspicious of other people’s activities and sometime be aggressive; desiring the elimination of the other’s presence in order to secure a presumed state of stability. What this does is supports a foundation built on worry and anxiety, which is an unstable platform upon which to build a survival strategy; it will topple under the slightest tremor.

Even with global economic and environmental instability pressing down on us to face what could be the extinction of our economic system or worse yet the extinction of our species, we are too terrified to look beyond our current context and explore those means that will create a paradigm shift. Xenophobia sets off denial as a way of avoiding what we don’t want to face – it’s too scary!

It doesn’t even have to be about the global situations; it could be about bringing more effective processes into management and leadership roles. It could be about recognizing that it’s intimidating to be human in a work environment that isn’t tolerant of its human resource because we are sometime unpredictable, uncontrollable and fallible. It could be about entering into a dialog with yourself about what you are afraid of and how you are being at work in response to that fear. These dialogs reveal many interesting patterns of being that aren’t pathological; they are just ways of being that we’ve not been allowed to be curious about.

We are afraid of being afraid. Under the scrutiny of others, we could be found out as weaker and inadequate, that we are replaceable, or that we have no value what’s so ever. We are all afraid of being found out that we are not who we pretend to be. When faced with strangers or new people, we are fearful that they may be able to see what we’ve been hiding all along.

Spirituality is a frightening concept to many. Though sought after by millions, it scares the bejesus out of us. We don’t understand it, it makes no sense to put trust and faith in an unseen source, and yet people find comfort when engaged in practices that support spiritual development. It makes people feel better about themselves and others, the energy shifts – there’s a calmness and peace in the environment and people are more product and happier when cultivating spiritual awareness. Why not invite this into the workplace?

Any phobia starts with a seed of thought that we make believe is real. We cannot overcome any fear until we distinguish the underlying belief we chose to be true. 85% of our fears are irrational and have no evidence to support them in the current paradigm. Most of these fears we took on in our childhood years and never stopped to assess the degree of truth upon which they were based. Our cultures, religions and economic institutions, in general, support the fear-based reality within which we operate and stifle any development that will threaten their position. I believe we are encouraged to be xenophobic. Alternatives to western medicines, fossil fuels, capitalism and fundamental religions, regardless of decades of research that point to the value they bring, are feared and made to look as though they are serious threats to our well-being.

Within our business environments how is xenophobia encouraged? Your institution may be a rare example of being free from such a mechanism; however, the truth is that the barbs of fear that we carry are so unconscious that we don’t know that we don’t know about the underlying fears from which we operate. Only through inquiry and direct confrontation with ourselves are we able to unconceal fearful patterns of being that originated from a single moment that birthed a single thought that started the ball rolling.

All organizational dysfunctions originate from one human being whose fear-based choices permeate throughout the whole. Fear is highly contagious; the remedy is alternative in nature, for as Einstein said, you can’t to solve the problem with the kind of thinking that created it. Fearful thinking begets fearful solutions.

How do we be with our fears in a way that allows them to be recognized for what they are? We can’t overcome our fears until we discover the underlying beliefs that trigger them in the first place. As long as we continue to pretend that we are not afraid and there’s nothing to be afraid of in the first place, we’ll never stop having to pretend.

What’s possible through this exploration is that we recover truths and clarify realities by which to re-choose what we choose to believe in and act from. Without such an expedition, our business environment will have no way to recover itself and be optimal in its ability to create and produce from a highly functional perspective – something untenable in a xenophobic environment. When we realize that we are all unique to each other and that our ways of being and the ideas and gifts we bring to the table are reflections of a larger, more expansive source of these ideas, we are then empowered to be curious, willingly mining for the nuggets of gold that support true innovation and exponentially empowers the essential paradigm shift.

The Likability factor

by Himanshu Jhamb on August 3, 2009

ilikeyouI’m sure you’ve heard this many times: “The first impression is the last impression”. The good news is this is not entirely true; the bad news is its not entirely false, either. Though first impressions may not be the last impressions… they do matter and what really matters is what the other person is thinking after they just associated with you – Are they thinking “I didn’t like him” or “Hmmm…. I really liked him”? The difference in these two might seem trivial but it’s not. The difference is that one side of the coin opens possibilities for you and the other side does not… Perhaps even shuts them down in some cases… and the tricky part is that all this happens “Silently“. People usually do not make this assessment loudly in public. They usually show up in conversations where you are not present.

Here’s a little example of how this once worked for me. A friend of mine arranged for me to meet up with a friend of his, who was a powerful person, and I was going there to talk to him about enrolling him in my vision of what I was doing. The meeting went fine (though I was, admittedly, a little critical of myself at the end of it) and I did not hear back from the person I met for a while. Then, one day, my friend called me and asked me “Did you see the email from the person you met?” I said “No” and checked my mailbox. It was very much there and he had accepted my offer… so, then I asked my friend that it did not appear to me that the meeting went all that well – so how come he accepted? My friend’s response was “Well! He thought the meeting was alright but the reason he accepted to work with you is because he said he liked you!”

That got me thinking and a question came to my mind: How do you assess someone as likeable… or not?

What I have found is what’s important is how people leave me … that is, to say, if someone leaves me in a better mood that I was in, when I met them, I make the assessment that they are likable!

… and then I came up with a more powerful question, for myself: What thoughts and feelings do I leave people in; after my interactions with them?

I’ll leave you with a term, a few resources on how you can show up as more likable and a couple of questions on likability.

  • The Term: The term you can use to think further on this is the “Likability factor (LF)“. Incidentally, there’s a book titled “The likeability factor” by Tim Sanders. The concept is really simple: If your likability factor is high, you usually come across as a likeable person and if it’s low, then you don’t.
  • How to increase your Likability factor:

    1. A short video by Rajesh Setty, our very own deeply respected “Active” mentor at Active Garage:

    2. A short real-life example by notable author and speaker Robin Sharma.

    … and finally,

  • The questions to think about (answer these immediately after reading this post, to get the maximum benefit from having read this)
  • 1. What do you think is your likability factor?

    2. If you do not think its high enough, what are you going to do about it?