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Manage Your Emotional Energy
I noticed you said that “a number of people in your department” share your contempt for your manager. Have you ever noticed that when you tell a negative story repeatedly that your emotions become more and more amped up? It’s almost as if the continual feeling of the story increases the drama we hold and the feelings we have. Then we become even more frustrated and emotionally exhausted in this process.
I would recommend that you avoid talking to others about your feelings and complaints and look for the opportunity to speak with your manager about your concerns. Talking to others just fuels the fire of your feelings, which drains you and those who listen to you. Also, if you are talking about your manager behind her back, you are probably leading other people to think that you would talk about them behind their back. You don’t want to do that.
Find Common Ground
A colleague told me about a couple that approached him and asked him if he would help them to have a “good divorce.” He told them that no divorce was ever a “good divorce.” They stated, “Make no mistake, we are getting a divorce. We just don’t want to become mortal enemies in the process. Will you help us?”
He then indicated, “My first recommendation would be to identify some common ground.”
They indicated, “We have no common ground except for the fact that we hate each other!”
Wisely, he responded, “Well what about the nine-year old and the twelve-year old that you created?”
From there the conversation took a different turn. Sometimes we are so wrapped in our emotions and our thinking that we don’t take the opportunity to look for common ground. Common ground would include the values that are important to both of you. You need to defuse the emotion in this situation, unbundle or separate the values in the problem, and then address each of those values separately and arrive at a solution to remedy the situation.
Forgive the Foibles
All of us have weaknesses. Her weaknesses belong to her. I wouldn’t spend any more time packing around “the baggage” of her weaknesses. Forgive her and move on. Forgiving her will free you emotionally and open a space for a number of wonderful opportunities that will flow to you.
In summary, look for the positive, manage your emotional energy, find common ground, and forgive this person. Still, better yet, you need to hold a REAL conversation with her. Doing so will increase your growth and development on many levels.
Thanks for asking!
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