How well do you listen?
You only catch bits and phrases of what people say but you understand what they are trying to convey
You hear and remember what people tell you very well
You hear beyond their words, including the assumptions and beliefs that frame their perception and the fears, desires, values, and disappointments that are keeping them from seeing a way forward
You hear well when you can pay attention but it is so hard these days with cell phones, emails, and people constantly wanting your time
You generally feel that expressing emotions at work is…
considered a sign of weakness
a possible pathway to improving collaboration, productivity and relationships if people learn how to talk about how they feel
only useful when emotions are positive
How do you react when someone tears up or cries?
You let them know they can leave if they like until they can pull themselves together
You get angry because you feel manipulated
You feel embarrassed and look for something to say to help them feel better
You allow the person to take a moment to have their reaction, calmly waiting for them to signal they are ready to move on
How do you react when someone feels embarrassed?
You tell them they shouldn’t worry because everyone makes similar mistakes
You tell them your own stories of being embarrassed and how you handled it
You allow the person some time to experience their reaction before you ask them what they discovered
You tell them it is silly to feel embarrassed; they should just learn from the experience and move on
How do you react when someone gets angry with you (verbally, not physically)?
You stay calm, knowing that their anger will subside. If it doesn’t you might ask for another meeting when they are ready to look at solutions with you
You get angry back; you have a right to defend yourself. Or you threaten to end the conversation if they don’t shut down their anger
You shut down
You tell them not to take things so personally
When someone is resistant to change or doesn’t seem to want to work harder, you…
try to understand what they are afraid of, angry about, or disappointed about that is keeping them from enthusiastically doing their work
assume they will never be good enough and reluctantly, you have to use a more directive style of leadership to make sure things get done
tell them they will regret their behavior in the future
remind them how much more work you and/or others have to do because they are not pulling their weight
You manage your own stress by…
working it out through exercise
taking periodic vacations
eating, drinking alcohol or taking drugs (recreational or stronger)
breathing and shifting to more positive emotions
When you disagree with a person’s point of view, you tend to…
do your best to convince people about what is right and why
remind people that you are the leader so you have the final say in decisions
maintain harmony by accepting his or her opinion
look for the common ground that will respect both his or her point of view and your own, if possible
When starting a difficult conversation, you most want people to…
know you are there for their highest good, not just your own
defuse any negative emotions they might be feeling
recall their commitment to their goals
trust you know what is most important for them if they want to be successful
In a difficult conversation, you may not hold people in the highest regard because…
you hold a position of power over them whether you realize it or not
they don’t deserve to be held that way
they have to earn your respect first
your judgments and emotions can get in the way if you aren’t aware of them
Some of the most well-intentioned leaders become impatient and even rude under pressure because…
they have to do this to show they are serious about people getting results
this is their true nature and they can’t pretend when they are stressed
sometimes negative emotions sabotage our best intentions.
some people just rub everyone the wrong way
When someone share a problem with you, you listen primarily…
to your own self-talk, analyzing the problem and looking for solutions
for the details of the problem so you can direct them to the right solution
for why the person is stuck and can’t find a solution on his or her own
for the gist of the problem so you solve it and move on as quickly as possible
When a person is showing confusion, anger, or fear, the best thing you can do is to…
communicate the vision and direction
encourage the person to feel more positive
reward the person for moving forward
How committed are you to learning the skills to have Discomfort Zone conversations?
Generally committed; I want to learn the skills but I reserve judgment until I have time to try them out for myself
Mildly committed; I have doubts that this will make a difference
Very committed; I want to learn how I can make a difference with others
Not committed; someone told me I should read the book
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