A favorite topic of mine in Leadership is Assertiveness. Its the one thing that I find many leaders struggling with. In fact, people get astonished to discover that what they thought was assertiveness (getting your way, anyhow) is actually very non-assertive (in fact, it is aggressive). In our popular culture Aggressiveness is misnamed as being Very- Assertive which is supposed to be a desirable thing in many roles in many organizations.
Paradoxically, for most people, the struggle is to deal with this brand of Aggressiveness. Our traditional culture and conditioning gives a very high value to being submissive ( to elders, to bosses, to parents and so on). In fact, I recently had a chat with a person in mid-thirties, who was at a tipping point in his career, but seeking permission from his father & wife to take a decision of following his passion and purpose in life. Believe me, he is not alone.
One of the pain areas for many people, therefore, is to deal with emotional assaults at work and at home. Assaults that include bitter or sarcastic words that continuously undermine their worth, create self doubt and hold the person in deep freeze, unable to take any action.
This is where Vitamin C of Consciousness comes in handy! It helps build immunity to such assaults which otherwise would completely numb you from inside...e.g. being reminded of your mistakes in a demeaning way or being threatened with consequences about your appraisal . Its appalling how many mid-level managers testify to this kind of pressure.
So here are 3 steps to practice next time you are faced with emotional assault:
Take five deep breaths --the kind where the belly swells up at every in-breath and goes in at every out-breath.
If you can hold your breath and regulate the exhalation by counting the seconds, you will be more empowered to stay conscious and aware in the moment.
2. Become aware that the other's choice of words are a reflection of his reality/ preoccupation and in no way representative of your self worth.
May sound difficult at first, but if you are in touch with your true divine nature and potential at this crucial moment, it can be done.
Try to also deeply listen to what lies below the hateful words and become aware of the grains of truth about him and you, in a very depersonalized manner. The key to this is to stay calm and resist from reacting immediately.
3. With an inward smile, send infinite blessings to the other person so that his suffering may reduce.
In your mind, silently say something like " Infinite blessings to .....as I see he is suffering." This will truly complete the loop and elevate your consciousness to one of love instead of fear. In doing so, you will realize that you are free to respond rather than react, thereby rendering the emotional assault powerless.
Wishing you a high dose of Vitamin C. Cheers!
About the author :
Yoshita Swarup Sharma is an ICF certified executive coach (ACC) who specializes in enabling leaders to transition into senior and top leadership roles with ease and grace.
Role transitions are a very important milestone in any career and it does get lonely at the top! So reach out to her, if you think you need support in helping senior or high potential leaders in your organization get ready for their career moves. Or message if you want a complimentary session around your own career transition.