It was a strange feeling.
Friday at 2:00 pm and I was clean, sitting quietly paying attention to a speaker, surrounded by business people from diverse fields.
Last week I took an afternoon off of the tools and spent about 5 hours at an event hosted by our local Chamber of Commerce. It featured networking opportunities, a trade show, panel discussions geared toward small business owners, talks about the local economy and some presentations to help business people to deal successfully with the many challenges they face.
It was difficult investing the time and money to attend an event that had no clear ROI. But I'm enjoying getting out of my comfort zone this year and I figures that just meeting one person, or learning and implementing one thing, could make the investment very worthwhile in the long run.
I had to create some space in my regular routine for this event. And it turned out my biggest take away from the day has to do with space...
As painting contractors we are constantly dealing with inputs, with stuff coming at us from every direction that demands our attention! It can get overwhelming sometimes.
In the past I have found myself having intense emotional reactions when conflict arrises or people are not happy about something. And I have also found that responding from an emotional state rarely leads to positive outcomes. Really the only objective we seek in a particular business situation is resolution - positive results. Well here is a very simple tool that we can use to make sure that when we are being bombarded, we handle the situation in the best way possible.
For most of us, we are stuck in the habit of:
STIMULUS / REACTION
In order to break that cycle, we must allow for space:
The space allows us to step back temporarily from a hot situation. It might be as simple as taking a few deep breaths, lightly tapping our forehead, asking ourselves 'what is really going on here?'. Then we can simply follow-up with something like 'Thank you for sharing your feelings. I can see this issue is very important to you. Let me get back to you on this.'
This lesson was shared by Jenna Forster of Your Inner Game. I really like it because it allows me to acknowledge a situation, without taking on the stress that someone is trying to put onto me. Not obligated to mirror the frenzied state that another person is in.
When we accept the stress and react to the stimulus, we often do so from an emotional state that can escalate the situation.
The next time I find myself interacting with someone who is trying to dump stress on me, I will try to remember to allow for some SPACE between the stimulus and my calm response. Hopefully it will diffuse the situation and enable a logical response.