Saturday, May 21, 2011

Taking Things Head On

I had two major challenges hit me without notice this past week. One personal, and one business-personal. After working through the immediate associated drama and challenges, and letting the first wave of aftershocks pass through, folks involved with both independent situations made comments to me like "I'm glad you took this head on."

Things were so fresh at the time, and in the throws of the work week proper, that it wasn't until my run today that I had a chance to reflect on the events, and those comments.

I hadn't done anything differently in these heightened scenarios that I haven't done my entire adult life, but I realized that I do tend to take serious situations "head on."

Why is doing so important?
If someone in your world, personal or business, raises a serious issue, and you *don't* engage with it head on, you're sending one of three signals to them. You're saying "this issue actually isn't important to me," that "I'm hiding something," or "I'm not adult enough to face the fire." I'd argue, generally you don't want another party perceiving *any* of those signals.

If the issue isn't that big a deal to you, then it is what it is, and you shouldn't bother taking it head on. The other person might feel slighted, but that may be exactly what you want to convey in the given situation. If you are hiding something, then you have bigger problems on your hands in that relationship and I'd recommend taking the situation head on anyway as to not compound your woes (which is what will undoubtedly happen). With respect to whether or not you are mature enough to face fire, you might not be.

If the issue is a big deal to you, taking it head on lets the real you come out in the process of resolving it, and everyone involved gets to see that, and benefit from it. Pre-processing your position while someone else is in a heightened head-space, prolongs their intensity and the overall situation. Taking too much time to calculate how you feel can often take you down winding roads without all the data, and when you finally emerge at the end, face to face with the situation, you'll likely find that there were critical components of the situation that would have had you turn right instead of left, and thus, you've wasted a bunch of time and mental energy.

I think most of this was taught in Kindergarten, but I'm amazed at how often I see folks chew things without these notions in mind. It takes all kinds I suppose.

If you're avoiding something hard, consider a radical change of course and take it head on.

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