Wanna know the secret to completely changing your relationship with your entire team?
Wanna know what can shift you from the role of boss to example setting leader?
Wanna be let in on how to free yourself from the burden of helping everyone through their struggles?
Buckle up because I bet it’s not what you think.
Here’s the scenario:
Consultant Jane Smith has been messaging you all day long for two days complaining, complaining, complaining about every little thing, she has nothing good to say about anything and she calls it “venting.” You’re really tired of it. It’s bringing you down, making you feel blah, and overwhelmed, and being the good leader you are I know you want to fix things for her. I know your heart wants to help her through this tough spot. But when you tell her what to do she either ignores you and doesn’t do it, half listens and does only part of the things you tell her, or worse, she gets mad at you for telling her what to do and now you go from being the one she vents too to being the target of her anger. It’s a lose, lose situation.
Here’s the secret. Use these five simple words before you tell her to do anything. “Can I give you some advice?”
Before you open your mouth to tell her what to do start with asking this question.
It will slow her down, make her stop venting, and help her to start thinking like the business owner she really is underneath her frustration.
Only then, when she is thinking clearly can she actually take your advice and put it to good use to help change her situation. If you start spouting off the great ideas you have before she’s ready it will fall on deaf ears or make a bad situation worse.
And remember, with this question comes her option to say “No thank you, not right now.” And that is okay. She can say no if she’s not ready to listen. Your response should be “Okay, I understand, being upset because of _____ (insert problem here) is tough. I’m here for you when you’re ready and we can brain storm some new ideas together.”
These five words will completely change things for you and help you to stay neutral, deescalate the situation, and keep you from being frustrated when the person you’re talking too just doesn’t listen to you.