Resources and Insights

What often happens when you address poor performance…

Have you ever summoned up the courage to broach an issue with a team member’s behaviour, or performance, only to have it thrown back in your face tenfold?

Suddenly you’re portrayed as the villain, you’re told you’ve always been a terrible manager, you’re unsupportive, you can’t do your job, or worse.

Err…hang on – what just happened there?

This has happened to me, both at work, and outside of work when I speak up for myself or my team, and it’s exhausting, and it’s stressful.

Take a couple of weeks ago, when I nicely asked a van driver to move so I could exit a carpark safely and without clipping his vehicle, and he treated me to some sexist comments about ‘women drivers’. As we were on an organisation’s premises and I was a customer with that organisation I reported what had happened to that organisation. I exited the car park and returned to give a full statement, and in the interim I was told the van driver had accused me of scraping his van.

Sorry – what? That 100% didn’t happen.

Attack feels horrible, but it’s an absolutely understandable response – when we are in fight or flight, sometimes we fight with counter claims – they make us feel justified in our actions, they support our narrative that we are in the right and they are also fuelled by stress hormones which make us lead with our emotions, not our logic.

I didn’t pay any attention to his counter-claims, I made my complaint and I trust the organisation to deal with it according to their own policies and procedures.

That was a one time incident and though it shook me and was unpleasant I don’t have to see Mr White Van again.

But, what happens when you thought you had a good relationship with a team member, but you bring up an issue that has perhaps been bubbling up for a while: not meeting objectives, behaviour that upsets others, and they come back at you with counter-claims that leave you angry and full of self-doubt?

I see this scenario in my coaching frequently and often my clients are the ones brave enough to address what has perhaps been left unaddressed for some time.

If this has happened to you, what can you do to support yourself?

  • Find someone outside of the situation who is there for you, where you can talk things through, offload and express your emotions. It’s really normal to swing between feeling livid, and full of self doubt in these situations.
  • Work on a plan to protect yourself within conversations you need to have. This might be as simple as limiting contact or scheduling conversations for a time of day when you have support directly afterwards. Knowing you can stop a conversation if it’s not feeling productive and suggest picking it up again the next day, can help you regain a bit of control of the situation.

I support my clients in a few key ways here:

  1. Through EFT I can help you process all the anger, frustration, self doubt, sadness that you’re carrying around, letting some it go will help you feel lighter, it will feel MUCH less of a deal, and you’ll gain clarity unclouded by your completely natural emotional response to the situation.
  1. I help you really get into the shoes and the experience of the other person in the situation – this boosts your empathy and also gives us clues about how to approach that relationship.
  1. Together we create tools and techniques that work for you, to prepare you for specific conversations and to protect you within those conversations.

Change, whether it’s team performance, or the global fight against sexism, it doesn’t happen unless we have courage. But we make ourselves really vulnerable when we speak out and everyone deserves support through that. With support and a safe space to talk through all the emotions, and take the learning, honestly, though it doesn’t feel like it right now, it will turn you into an even stronger, more kick-ass leader in the long run. And I’m 100% here for helping you get there.

If you’d like to discuss my short sharp 2 session coaching package to help you process a horrible experience at work, email me here. I also offer a 6 month package of support. If you’ve some budget for coaching and you’d like to chat it through, you can pop 30 mins in my diary right here.

And if you’re wondering what EFT is and where you can get some, I’ve a free resource coming your way really soon which will introduce you to the technique and give you the tools to feel lighter and calmer about any and all of the above!

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