Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
We spend a lot of our lives reacting to events and people. Our emotions drive us and guide us and although that’s no bad thing, we do sometimes trip up.
We may have an argument, when we wanted a discussion. We may get hooked by someone being silly, and bark at them, instead of being reasonable.
We can forget ourselves when we are tired, stressed, or hungry, and resort to old and trusted behaviours that always worked well when we were children.
To be honest, they often didn’t work as well as we wanted, but we were children and didn’t have the awareness to know any different.
For example, I know someone who cries easily. They get stressed, they cry. They miss a deadline and cry. About 30 seconds after feeling frustrated the tears well up. They cry.
There’s nothing wrong in crying per se and perhaps if more people cried more often the world would be a better place.
What the example is all about is someone resorting to very young behaviour, when as a grown up, a more thoughtful approach would be more useful to them.
Tears don’t solve problems. They do tend to invite other people to solve our problems for us and that’s probably what this person did as a young child.
They were presented with a problem, felt anxiety or frustration, and realised that when they cried an adult stepped in and sorted it out.
Wind the clock forwards 20 years and this learned behaviour is still being used. Great when you’re 6 and a nuisance when you’re 26 and you’re the responsible adult, and need to solve your own problems.
You may know someone who does this, or something very similar. As adults, we replay behaviours we learned as children, even though they are no longer age appropriate.
Which leads me to my question. A stunning question. A question that was asked of me a few years ago and one that has really made me think.
The question is this:
“What age am I being right now?”
It’s a great question.
We are invited to pause for a moment and consider whether we are acting in an age appropriate way.
We might have the body of a 40 year old and yet our behaviour may be that of a grumpy 16 year old, a frustrated 6 year old, or a tired 2 year old.
What we need to do is take a breath, assess the truth of our situation and act as a grounded 40 year old.
We can still feel our emotion; we can still be cross, or feel fear, or have frustration and yet we can choose to manage ourselves as an adult and not be a child.
We can be the age we are now and not be the age we were.
We can resolve the issue without tears.
This week, if things get tough for us, we can all take a moment to ask ourselves the question:
“What age am I being right now?
Have fun being the age you are!
Next week: Team Management Fun!
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