If you constantly keep things inside, don’t say them out loud, then they build up causing resentment or illness. Just like an overpacked box it will eventually spill over or explode. One way to say it is to write it, even if it is only to yourself. If you write it, eventually you will be able to say it. Why not write it out today?
Nobody appreciates TMI… We don’t want to be bogged down with the minutia of everyone else’s lives. We don’t want graphic details or a mental image that will not leave. We also don’t want to be kept out of the loop and then there is all the stuff that needs to be said. From instructions to a teammate covering our holiday to instructions on how to treat us, these things need to be said.
When they are left unsaid, frustrations fester and an acrid atmosphere ensues. Then things soon can spiral out of control. So why are these things so often unsaid?
That’s easy, it’s because we fear rejection, confrontation and the consequences of saying it. Yet if we don’t say it, we suffer rejection, confrontation and similar consequences, because when we bottle things up, they weigh heavy upon us. We get weighted down and then explode. The pent-up emotions have built up and magnified into an eruption that would make Vesuvius look like a lava cake.
It doesn’t have to be this way. If we can remember that honesty is the best policy as long as it is not brutal then we can find a way to let out our frustrations, negotiate the outcome and avoid displays of public eruption. A good way of doing this is to think COINS.
Firstly, you need Clarity, you need to know what the situation is and what is driving it, who is implicated and the impact it is having upon you.
Then you need to think about the Outcome you would like to achieve. Be clear, know how you will have achieved it and how you will measure it. Be aware of how long it will take and if you are realistic in your expectations.
Once you are clear you can consider the Implications on the others involved. Make sure you consider everyone. Get the support of those affected and include their feelings in the process.
Now you are ready to Negotiate. When you know what you want and the impact it will have on the other person, you can present your needs in a way that makes everyone feel important, considered and then you can find a perfect Solution. Be ready to solve the issues, not steam roll over everything presented to you. It maybe you are being stonewalled just because the other person has not had time to process the information, so this may take a little patience.
During this process you must detach yourself from your emotions.
Let’s take an example. A colleague always excludes you from a meeting you feel you should attend. You are frustrated as you often miss information and must rework your reports, plans etc. You have a lot to offer in this area and your attendance could help your colleagues. After asking to attend and having approval from you manager to do so, you still are not being informed of these meetings.
If you ignore this situation, there will come a point when you will be told your work is out of date, feel humiliated and isolated, then you will explode. You will say things you regret. In the build up to this explosion you will become snippy, less helpful and people will think you are the problem.
Instead you could think COINS. Cool yourself down, and ask yourself what is going on? This will give you clarity. Is it an oversight, or is there a reason they think you would be better out of the meeting? You may have to ask the question but do so without accusations and hysteria. A simple “I know you run the X meeting, and it is very informative. I think it could save a lot of time if I attended. Is there any reason for me not to have an invite?”
Once you know who the players are and their agendas, you can decide if your desired outcome is to attend the meetings. You may decide you simply want to be included in the minutes distribution list, or you may still wish to attend.
What are the implications of you attending? Will there be scheduling clashes for example. Will you make someone concerned you may be an opposing point of view? Either way this gives you an idea of the objections and obstacles you may face and lets you find solutions before you speak up.
Next it is time for negotiations. Ask your colleague for a meeting or just take them somewhere quiet to ask for what you want. Again, it is time to get silver tongued and be gentle in your approach. Asking, “I know we spoke about my attending X meeting, and you are so right it is a busy meeting, so think it will save everyone’s time in the long run if I get to hear what they want directly from them. So please can you add me to the invite list?” You may get a positive response, or you may have to overcome their objections by using the solutions you practiced in the implications stage.
If you listen and try to genuinely understand their fears and concerns, you can allay them, even if you suggest it is a trial period. Be as flexible as you can in meeting their requirements without abandoning your needs.
This approach works just as well if it is something you want someone to stop doing, if it is a relationship issue or if you want to negotiate a pay rise. If you need any help to find out what to say then I can help…. simply book a clarity call. If you dread returning to work then keep an eye in the new year for my work place detox…..