From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – I felt like I was on the hot seat in a recent web meeting. I was
being questioned and felt like all the little Brady Bunch screens were focused on me, eyes trained to see my reaction. It was an intense conversation, and I was starting to feel it. And then, in the chat box directed privately to me, I saw this message, “You look great, hair and outfit perfect.”
After seeing this message, like taking a breath of fresh air after being trapped in an elevator, I was able to regroup, almost laugh and get refocused. While this was hard, it was not actually going to result in death or dismemberment.
That comment just shook me out of my reaction and gave me that millisecond to choose my moves. I could just look at the confrontation differently and relax into the dialogue. This was a group of people speaking from their particular experience and knowledge, and even if they actually did believe me to have not handled this correctly, its not actually about me, it’s about the issue at hand.
A few seconds was enough to just ease into what was being said without getting in my CPI defense pose mentally, just listen and choose my next move… after all, my hair apparently looked great.
This is a magic power that we have, a moment in time in any hard conversation or crisis to offer a millisecond of fresh air. Offer a compliment, remind each other to breathe, do something unexpected – then everyone can refocus on the issue at hand and probably solve it better, especially if their outfit is perfect.
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