"Confront issues not each other."
Resolving issues takes courage. Especially if those issues have been shut away and inaccessible for quite some time. However, getting good at resolving issues is a major opportunity in our lives. If we can get comfortable opening up, discussing and working through issues, we can achieve so much with the people in our lives as willing partners!
As I mention, in this week's video, this used to be a real challenge for me personally. I used to equate discussing issues with confrontation. As a result, I always expected the worst. Have a listen to the first couple of minutes to hear the long list of problems I faced. Maybe one or two will resonate with you?
The truth is, I can't remember where or when I actually first discovered that I could approach resolving issues in a calm way. What I can remember is the first time I realised that it was something I didn't fear any more. It followed a number of years of trial and error, almost fumbling towards a greater understanding of what works and what serves only to make things worse. The bottom line was, it was always down to me, my thoughts and the energy I brought to the conversations. So, back to the point of realisation that my mindset on issue resolution had changed.
A few years back, I was confronted by an issue that shook my whole world. I had been working closely with a particular individual that I discovered had been less than honest with me and a number of other people I held dearly. Until that point, it had been a high trust relationship with lots of activities undertaken based on verbal agreements. However, the revelations undermined everything and I realised it was my job to resolve the issue.
Emotionally, it was a real blow.
However, I calmly set about gathering the facts, listening to all involved and preparing how I would resolve the issue. The conversations that ensued were challenging and the individual concerned was both defensive and evasive. Nevertheless, I persisted in seeking clarity and closure for all involved.
The best bit was the feeling of calmness throughout and the speed with which I felt able to just get on with my life afterwards.
Normally, facing such a significant issue would have meant the following;
It was two mornings after the final conversation that I caught myself singing and completely engrossed in the next project. "I WAS FREEEEEE!" It really felt that good. No longer captured by my own feelings of inadequacy, guilt or worry. Empowered to face whatever came my way.
I want to keep this straightforward, so you can spend more time thinking about how to make it a part of your life rather than working through the written details. Here are your three ways to resolve any issue (and maintain your sanity.)
Acceptance requires the least energy and will keep everyone moving forward with no hesitation.
Adaption takes more effort. But, if you see an opportunity to make something better for you and the others involved, go for it.
Abandoning an issue is sometimes the only option. It usually becomes clear, quite quickly, if you will be wasting your time attempting to resolve an issue which others who refuse to engage.
The issue I described above was effectively a combination of 2 and 3. The other person refused to take ownership or deal openly and honestly with the issues. And so, despite my best efforts to Adapt the situation and develop a better solution going forward, I decided to abandon ship and leave them to it.
Are you dealing with any issues currently that you need to Abandon? Are you unclear on how to proceed with some personal or professional issues? Drop me a line in the comments below and let me help. This really is a situation where a problem shared is a problem halved!
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