WWOOOOAAAHHHHH steady on you cannot write that!!!!!
Don’t worry I know the title might not be suitable for a business post but I am happy my wife can read this without me being kicked out of the house. The red tops have been using headlines like that for years to get you to read a story, but the difference is this one is true.
So it all started………..
after one of my mastermind talks at a client I work with. I encourage people who have questions, especially ones they didn’t feel comfortable asking in the group, to either email me or to come and chat while I am there. A lady, who we will call Claire, came up to me and asked if we could discuss a problem she was having with one of the men in the organisation intimidating her and what she could do about it.
During the discussion it became obvious that the individual who was more senior than Claire and much larger used this to give him a sense of power. This power was used not in an obvious and threatening way which within the office would have been noticed but in a subtler way by standing too close, speaking more forcefully and generally trying to overpower the other person. It wasn’t nasty it was just his way of getting what he wanted.
Claire was worried as she knew that later during the day she would more than likely have a confrontation with this person as she was raising an issue with one of his team. Claire was concerned about the meeting but didn’t know how to raise the issue with her Director as being a manger herself she felt she should know how to deal with this type of situation and anyway what was there to tell except she felt uncomfortable. It turned out that what could be dismissed as a simple problem blown out of proportion was actually very significant to Claire who had taken time off sick to avoid the meeting the previous week.
Over the years I have found that what some consider negligible insignificant issues are huge and insurmountable to another person sometimes resulting in them under performing, taking time out of work or by suffering significant stress. Its possible they may even leave, which in some cases may be a major issue to the organisation and every one of these symptoms affects the performance of the individual and can affect the profitability not just the reviews on Glass Door.
Sometimes everyone within the organisation is too busy and too involved to be able to help resolve these kinds of problems.
We were talking for a while but came up with a simple body language solution. I am sure Claire had serious doubts about my suggestion but had been persuaded to at least give it a try. So, when the confrontation arose rather than trying to stand up to the other person causing conflict and confrontation. Claire took the opposite path. After stating her case and the individual rising in his chair to start imposing his power she simply put her hands behind her head and leant back in her chair and asked how she could help resolve the problem. This is an extremely vulnerable position but also shows a complete lack of fear while also sounding reasonable.
When I was on the train home that night I received a call from Claire, who while speaking fast and excitedly told me she loved me. No not in that way so DON’T PANIC, she said it was like watching a balloon deflate and a meeting she was so fearful of went extremely well. She could not believe how it had gone.
It seems a simple and rather silly technique but deep at heart we are still evolving animals and instincts such as fear are recognised and unconsciously used in the use of power, voice control and posture. Techniques to control these instincts not only allow you to stay safe in dangerous situations but can make everyday life including meetings and difficult situations at work a lot less stressful.