@womenandhome_sa @KarrenBrady1 @catherineadenle #Confrontation #Success #Relationships #Workplace #Bullying #Society #Emotions #SelfAwareness
Image: 1 Via Catherine’s Career Corner
I’m sure that we’ve all had an encounter with someone insufferable, someone you have to REALLY make an effort to be civil towards. These ”social plonks” (sorry, couldn’t THINK of a better word!) are so full of wretched self-assurance that they think their opinion and silly comments are superior to anything and anyone else. They don’t mind that they embarrass you, hurt your feelings, insult you…no, they are so busy pushing out their cocky little chests that they simply don’t give a flying patootie (there’s yet another little word-treasure for you) about anyone other than themselves. I do think that maintaining this illusion of grandeur must be VERY hard work….and it takes practice to be a total pain in the …well-you-know…the KimKardashians (oh, come on, you KNOW what I mean!). But here’s a nice little bit of advice …don’t tell them off, level them with your calm, collected, thought provoking, right-back-atcha comment and walk pointedly away. Trust me…they’ll be so stunned (their own little ”wa-hoppen”-moment). There is a secret to this. Continue to read what Karren Brady suggests.
My favourite magazine in the whole world is Women and Home. It’s the ONLY mag I ever buy, and I read it to tatters. I love everything about it, but this month there was an article on page 50, written by Karren Brady. She talks about her personal experience as a woman, working in a man’s world and the rap she takes for it and HOW she eventually dealt with it….it makes a very interesting read, you should get the magazine and read it yourself. Karren tackles the issue of confrontation in such a way that one immediately recognizes yourself in that particular situation. According to Karren, it is better to get the confronting bit over and done with there and then…see it as your ”cards on the table moment”….an opportunity to air your grievances in the moment and have your say.
Karren says one should never confuse successful confrontation with ”telling someone off”…one should aim to ”reset behaviour” (Brady, 2014:50), to change their attitude towards you, but also allow them to see that they should consider changing their attitude in future, toward others as well. I suppose for us ”born to suffer” girls and guys, often tread upon, laughed at, teased….and this since forever, it sounds extremely frightening to think of doing just that…talking to the ”tormentors”. The thing is, I personally come from a long line of ”tormented” people…my family rarely stood up for themselves, they preferred ”turning the other cheek” while hunching shoulders into despair and depression. Life has taught me that, if not faced, if not challenged, the tormenting will continue indefinitely, no matter HOW many cheeks you turn, how many pills you swallow and how many tears you cry. One would do well to remember….facing up to somebody, standing up for yourself, may be hard at first, but gets easier with practice and it would not kill you to be the one fighting your own battle, it will EMPOWER you!
Personally I could always fight battles for other people, perhaps because I understood how they felt and I couldn’t stand other kids teasing and bullying friends. As I grew older I realised that, if I can do this for others, perhaps it is high time I start doing it for myself. It was touch and go at first….I made many enemies in my efforts to hone confrontation techniques. Today, I’m proud to say, I am someone, unafraid to speak my mind….oh and people HATE me for this. I simply cannot shut up! I’m never really rude, but my words can burn your ears…believe me!
Karren Brady’s suggestions on successful confrontation makes SO much sense…it is not kind, yet it is not really rude either…it is just plain honesty, forthright and in the moment. That last one made me think of how we usually go about our ordinary, household and family ”disturbances”….we have a grab-by-the-shoulders-and-shake attitude, screaming and spittle flying and think we are good at it. We drag up old hurts and old mistakes and rally it around us like muddy little soldiers…the entire moment is lost and in the end we stand baffled, because we couldn’t remember why we were fighting in the first place! That is a huge mistake…one should NOT hold grudges to begin with, let alone dredge it all up at the first opportunity…let it go and focus on what is happening NOW. If a colleague insults you, talk to him about that now, in this moment, don’t drag up his late report or his old harassment cases…..leave it and tackle this insult in the present moment, don’t let anything distract you from the main purpose…to change the person’s behaviour.
Karren sets it out beautifully and I took the liberty of summing it up a bit.
- Take a moment to gather your thoughts, calm your emotions (and build your courage….remember, confrontation is not easy for all of us, but if you do it properly, with dignity, you will re-assert yourself and your self-confidence will soar.)
- Be straightforward about what bothers you; why this person’s actions is unacceptable and lay it out to him/her in clear-cut, uncomplicated terms.
- Speak clearly, show this person that you will NOT be misunderstood or distracted; the situation/behaviour is NOT acceptable by either yourself and/or others
- Stay calm and collected; without emotion…do not start ranting and raving…keep your voice low, non-threatening, but very firm.
- Get the message through
I can hear you sniggering about this….I did. Yes, you may ask what will happen if said idiot has a witty reply up his/her sleeve….trust me, most of these characters come well-armed to the battleground, despite the fact that they rarely clean their weapons…just more of the same-old same-old…sneering remarks, insults galore, etc. Don’t take the bait; reacting to such a comment will only make things worse, but, since you’ve had your say, your views (cards) are on the table. This person now has no excuse anymore; if previously there was any doubt that he/she hurt your feelings, it is now clearly out in the open and the whole world knows how you feel about it PLUS the world can see how this person deals with you. (That is why it is important not to wait for the perfect moment – like when you are alone – tackle the issue WHEN IT HAPPENS!) Don’t be frazzled by what he/she says now, you’ve done your job, without losing control….my advice now is to walk away with your head held high and ignore any further abuse. If the person is half-bright, he/she will realise that going on and on is childish and just goes to show how low his/her own self-esteem is.
Catherine Adenle created a wonderful, practical infographic on the subject of bullying at work. Have a look: (You can also see the slideshow here.)
I’ll quickly tell you something Karren wrote in her article; an example of how she dealt with an abusing co-worker:
She tells how, for many years, she was the only woman in the boardroom. As a result she fell victim to constant ridicule, obsessive bullying and name-calling by her esteemed, male colleagues (reading this I thought that it is so typical of people, when some of us feel threatened, we get mean and the mud-slinging makes us feel better about ourselves…it turned out that these men had reason to be afraid…Karren Brady is a force to be reckoned with!). Back to the story; Karren was invited to take a trip with her male co-workers on the company bus. As she was returning from the bus-WC at one point, she passed one of the men, ”who said: ‘I can see your tits from here.” Karen turned and said: ”Well, when I transfer you, you won’t be able to see them from there.” (Brady, 2014:50) It turned out that she did indeed transfer him three days later….game over.know i
I know that this will not always be easy for us, lesser people….we are not all powerful businesswomen, like Karryn Brady. But I do think she has a point and, as someone whose been in the business for a long time, she obviously knows what she’s talking about. If we do not speak our mind and choose to let it go, we will forever be unhappy, we will forever be frowning our way through life, biting nails and lips, fuming inside. Remember, if you do not stand up for yourself, NO ONE ELSE WILL!! If someone behaves improperly, unacceptably…tell them, get it off your chest and everyone will know exactly where they stand with you.
Come on then….go GET them!!!
ADENLE, CATHERINE. 2014. Infographic: How to Deal With A Bully at Work. [Web:] http://catherinescareercorner.com/2014/04/04/infographic-deal-bully-work/ [Date of access: 16 November 2014]
BRADY, KARREN. 2014. Women and Home Magazine:50, Nov.