How many times have we gone into a meeting or conversation or even email just knowing it’s going to be a fight to get something done!
Yesterday was one of those days where I regret horse ownership all the way! Zora decided she was taking herself for a walk because why not and then decided that she didn’t like her little brother who we had just moved over. I was frazzled to say the least and annoyed with her, worried about the other horse getting hurt and being cold and all sorts of new things and frankly was just about done!
So I asked my amazing trainer for a quick lesson because I just knew that the horse was at fault, I mean she was causing me stress so it had to be all her right?? (OK wrong) As leaders we often decide way before anything that things aren’t going to go well. And frankly I am sure non-leaders do the same thing! We assume our clients are going to be upset before we even give them a chance! to be upset! We go in looking for the fight.
So yesterday I saddled up my horse, again knowing it was going to be a fight because I am the human and she is only the horse! The first words my trainer said to me “you can’t start off assuming there is going to be a fight”… huh? What? You mean she might just be OK? NO that can’t possibly be right! She’s been a brat the entire day…so of course that is going to continue..
Except it didn’t, once I let go of the idea of a fight she was amazing. Doing everything I asked and in a great way! Now my trainer did offer some insight in case she did give me a fight, but she didn’t.
You see as leaders, when we expect the fight we often get one, so instead of thinking that this is going to be a battle expect it to go well and prepare for the fight. For example, are you delivering something later than expected, maybe it got away from you and you didn’t tell the client it was coming late. Can you change the time? No you can’t but you can apologize and let it go. If your client comes back with guns blazing then you can react in the way you thought through.
So often we get ourselves ready for the fight and when it doesn’t come we create it! We decide on our own that there is going to be a fight and we push buttons either intentionally or not but they get pushed. Our team and our clients come back swinging and we feel validated that we were ready for the fight!
Instead what if we waited, took that deep breath and decided that there wasn’t going to be a fight. We can have a battle plan ready but not have to use it! (Interesting concept huh)
This week, take a moment and ask yourself, are you preparing for the battle or are you gearing up for the fight! Once you realize that you are gearing up for the fight you can start preparing for battle instead!