Cutting her off was the best thing I did… Part 2May 13, 2017
He’s gone. Lessons in lossAugust 31, 2017
How I failed to replace judgement with curiosity.
The problem was that I was seething at my boss and so I couldn’t really say anything about it. (I still work a day job and run my coaching business part time.)
I was overflowing with judgment about something he had done first thing that morning. As the day wore on a few other issues came up that just added fuel to the already smoldering fire. Hence by the end of the day that pot in my stomach had gone from a slow simmer on that fire to a pressure cooker ready to pop.
My partner got the brunt of it, the swearing, the yelling and heaps and heaps of judgement. After I vented and went for a walk with him I felt the weight of the day lift from my shoulders. I made sure to thank him for being there for me.
WRESTLING WITH MYSELF
Later that evening I had put aside time to write this month’s blog. I had already chosen the topic weeks ago, Curiosity is the opposite of Judgement.
How the heck was I supposed to write a blog about that when I had failed miserably at finding even the tiniest bit of curiosity to give to my boss?
A few weeks ago I’d shared with a client about how judgement hinders connection. How I believe the opposite of judging someone was to become curious about then. And to be curious ask questions. What was going on for them in this moment that was creating this strong response? What were they battling in their own life that had them lashing out at me? What life issue were they trying to deal with or make sense of while the rest of their world still demanded things of them? Were they really mad at me or was there something else going on?
I know that curiosity opens the doors for others to share with us what is going on for them, I experience this in every coaching session I do. However judgment makes others feel defensive therefore slamming their inner door to vulnerability and sharing. Hence curiosity is the opposite of it because it actually has the other person now want to share and help you understand where they are in that moment.
I’ve brought out my innate sense of curiosity many times in my life and my coach training has helped to sharpen that skill. But today, with my boss, it was nowhere to be found.
As I have a chance to reflect now on my day, from a place of calmness, I realized that there are three things I should have told myself to do during this time.
- 1. Breathe. Leave the room, go to the bathroom if you need to, and breathe through it. Calm that heart rate down and focus on my body.
- 2. Make a Generous assumption. As Brené Brown says in Daring Greatly, make a generous assumption of others that they are doing the best they can at this time.
- 3. Find my curiosity. While breathing push aside the strong emotions, which will begin to subside with the deep cleansing breaths, and ask those questions listed above.
As I write this I find that judgement creeping in again. I failed at the very thing I try to teach my clients. I suck. What kind of coach am I?
But I know that deep down I need to have these lessons in my own life in order to be able to share with client’s what I learn. Improving my communication skills doesn’t have an end date. I knew how I had failed to replace judgement with curiosity. But I also knew that there is no, “ ok I’m perfect at this skill now I can move onto another one,” in our lives. Instead it is a constant striving towards improvement. Two steps forward, one step back.
My hope is that both my clients and you, can see that in yourself as well. As long as we keep trying, recognizing where we fall down and getting back up to try again, that’s what matters.
To quote Brené Brown, Phd. MSW , I’m going to keep working on “daring greatly”.
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