I came across a great podcast from Harvard Business Review, called 'Dear HBR' and have really enjoyed this particular episode on 'Bad Bosses'. It's an advice giving format based on a few questions posed by listeners. It's worth checking it out if you enjoy learning from how others have overcome their challenges. You can check it out here
It made me think about a phrase I live by which is 'focus on what you can control'. No matter what is happening in your work relationships, you have power to control how you respond. 50% of how it works out is completely in your hands. Change is always possible. We can change how we think about the situation. We can change our behaviour. We can remove ourselves from a situation.
It is all too easy to get locked in a narrative of feeling like a victim, or powerless when work relationships are not going well. We can become fixed on ideas of who's right, and who's wrong in a situation. But this is just one perspective right? It can be really helpful to think about other perspectives.
1. Take a minute to think about their perspective
What might be going on for them? What might the reasons be for their behaviour? Do they know that I feel this way? What might they think if they knew? Knowing this, what might they want to say to me?
2. Now reflect back on your own perspective
Now that you've thought about this, how are you feeling about them? What might you want to say back to them? Has anything shifted in your story of the dynamic between the two of you? What fresh insights do you now have?
3. Look at it from a birds eye view
If you were a stranger looking down at the relationship as a whole, what would you see? Pay special attention to the context in which the relationship sits and what this tells you about what's going on between these two people.
What did you learn? What fresh insights do you have now? I've used this exercise for all kind of relationship challenges and it can be really enlightening how things can shift just by looking from different angles. Sometimes we get locked in a limiting view which makes it difficult for us to move forward.
I hope this was helpful. Thanks for reading!