While supporting a friend to create a communication strategy around a tricky subject that was rife with emotional triggers, I remember her saying, “Until I have scoured every inch of my side of the street to see what is mine to own, I can’t have a conversation.”
This is leadership at its finest – the ability to give ourselves feedback about a given situation.
More often than not, when we are emotionally triggered, it is human nature to look for the scapegoat. We generally look to the other side of the street for the cause of the discomfort, disconnect or dis-empowerment. It must be “their fault” and we peer into every nook and cranny on their side for a reasonable explanation.
True Emotionally Intelligent Leadership takes responsibility for the trigger.
What is happening on my side of the street to create the emotional charge? Is there any other way I could have handled the situation? Where am I a contributor to the situation? What in me may have caused the situation in the first place? With 20/20 hindsight, what would I do differently?
These are the questions that propel us into neutral – that place of passion, purpose and unhooked from the emotional land mines. In neutral, we have a big spotlight on both sides of the street. In Leadership Neutral, we take that spotlight first to our side and own what there is to own.
Only then, can we be in a position to communicate, apologize, diagnose, correct, coach or offer feedback.
There are always two sides to a situation. Can I be willing to look at my side first?