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Separate the people from the problem

NB: This post has been republished from my defunkt newsletter. Enjoy 🙏

Hey there,

I had to deal with an uncomfortable situation. One with hurt feelings and increasing anxiety levels. Typically, I’m one of the loudest voices in the room. I’m the first to react and voice my opinion. This time I found myself on the edges. Quiet and struggling to form thoughts without blowing up and acting unprofessionally.

Running a remote first company affords me the luxury of time. Time to step back and better deal with situations. Time to take the opportunity to assess how I feel, and to separate the emotion from logic.

And this is my advice for today: where you find pressure and stress evokes a strong emotional response, be sure to take time out. Spend time with your thoughts, and figure out how to separate the people from the problem. Getting to yes is a fantastic read on this.

Then, when you’re more comfortable with your thoughts, it’s time to write up an agenda and schedule a follow up meeting. You can lead the conversation in the narrative you desire. It’ll allow you to continue separating the emotion from logic, and give you the foundation you need to keep your cool and say your piece.

I did precisely this. I chose to talk through the logical steps first before giving an honest account of how I felt. It worked wonders for allowing me to keep my cool, and to keep the conversation on track. I’ll be doing the same in future.

Richard

P.S. Do you have any tactics for dealing with adversity? I’d love to hear them (just hit reply)