Access Point: Practice the "Pause"
“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”
- Chinese Proverb
We all get frustrated and disappointed, and we all have felt anger.
Consider the notion that underneath every occurrence of anger is fear – fear that something you want will be out of reach or fear that you may lose something. And although a teammate, family member, employee, or friend may be clear on your expectations, there is a high probability that they are not. At least not exactly how you see it or and intend for them to see it.
When anger arises do all you can to hit your internal “pause” button. Ask yourself, what might I be afraid of here? Have I been clear about my expectations? Am I projecting onto someone an ability, skill, or set of priorities that are not truly their own? Last, consider this question: is my frustration, disappointment, or anger in another person simply a reflection of me? Is it possible that what I am upset about is something that represents something I need to work on, improve, eliminate, or come to terms with?
I know that the recognition of saying something we wish we hadn’t, whether in an email, voice mail, or in person, comes after we say it. Practice the “pause”. Consider what the true meaning of your frustration may really mean, and take a few minutes before engaging another human being.
The most important meeting we have is the meeting we have with ourselves. Even if it only lasts 5 minutes, make time for this important meeting. You and those you engage with will be very happy you did.