How to Choose Your Response to Situations Beyond Your Control

Increasing understanding, critical thinking, compassion and collaboration

It's easy to get angry and defensive

Viktor Frankl survived a concentration camp and said this…

Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.

Post Charlottesville conflict continues to fill the airwaves and cyberspace, encouraging chaos and division.

…So how have you been responding?  Are you:

  1. Denying that this conflict is impacting real lives, workplaces and communities?
  2. Pushing your perspective on others?
  3. Sitting in silence and worrying about it?
  4. Studying the issues, and then carrying your candle into the darkness, determined to be a part of the solution?

IF YOU SEEK TO BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION:

The process below will help you fully leverage your freedom, while strategically using both your mind and your heart.

Unrealized Potential and Conflict? 10 Benefits of Bridge Builders

At Home, At Work, and In Our World

Bridge connecting people

Bridge Builders listen to the perspectives of others, instead of fearing their knowledge, experiences and convictions.

With vision, respect and wisdom they connect:

  • Front lines and executives
  • Teams across silos
  • Customers and the organizations that serve them
  • Individuals
  • Communities
  • Nations

Is Generational Diversity in the Workplace Impacting Your Growth?

Or is it something else?

Generational Diversity and Organizational Health

I recently went into a store to pick up an order for someone else. When I arrived, I asked for the supervisor of that department by name. She was gone for the day, so a teenager tried to assist me and I proceeded to ask for the order by name and then by description.

The teen was was unaware of the order and asked her two coworkers for help. (Both of them were in their late 50’s.)

Her coworkers just shrugged, said they didn’t know anything and walked away.

So the teenager looked everywhere she could think of, and then asked one of her coworkers for help again.

The elder woman snapped at her and walked away again.

4 Years in Saudi Arabia: Living, Learning and Growing

We are all Ambassadors

Life begins at the end of YOUR comfort zone. YOU decide. Are YOU living or dying-Since our return home from Saudi Arabia, (A place I once feared and had zero desire to move to.)  I have been facilitating a series of workshops for students – sharing what day-to-day life was like while emphasizing critical life, leadership and people skills that they will need throughout their lives.

In each workshop students are given a visual of a natural process that will happen the rest of their lives – as they decide if they have the courage to leave their comfort zones or the grit to survive when life hands them circumstances they can’t control.

Some of the questions I’ve been asked about Saudi are worth sharing:

What was the best part?

  • Living in an International Compound: Sharing life, friendship, and food with people from more than 50 nations and learning from them.
  • Riding motorcycle with men and women from all over the world and getting to experience parts of Saudi that many expats don’t get to enjoy. (Yes – My motorcycle jacket had ½ of an abaya attached to it and could be rolled up when I was on the bike and rolled down when I was off the bike. Allowing me to be respectful and safe while enjoying time on the bike with my husband.)
  • Vacationing in 11 countries besides Saudi and Bahrain in the 4 years we were there.

What was the hardest thing for you?

In a divided world: We have more than two choices

The third option requires our brains AND our hearts

We have more than two choices... Really!

Have you ever had a small child run to you in fear?  (Of the boogeyman under the bed, the barking dog, or the crack of thunder?)

How do you respond?

Do you ignore them?  Do you dismiss them?  Do you call them boogey-phobic, dog-phobic, or noise-phobic?  Do you make fun of them?  Or do you shine a light under the bed and explain why they are safe?  Take them to meet the neighbor’s dog and see that he is friendly?  Or explain how thunder works?

Have you been a titled leader in a business and heard employees expressing concerns about fairness or potential layoffs?

How have you responded?

Do you get defensive and angry that they dare to question you?  Do you blow off their concerns?  Do you talk down to them?  Or do you hear them and respond with understanding, compassion and honesty?

communication, discussion, dialogueHave you watched divisive current events and taken a side?  And then heard from a family member, friend, coworker or neighbor that has taken the other side?

How have you been responding?

Are you ignoring them?  Unfriending them?  Labeling them?  Shouting at them?  Making fun of them?  Or are you seeking first to understand what is driving them?

Great parents, leaders and friends – listen to questions and fears without anger or labels, or a dismissive attitude.  They seek to understand, and then shine a light under the bed and address real and imagined concerns.  They are honest about real challenges and about their commitment to their people.