Hosing Down Spotfires – Part 2

hoseHere’s a few more tips to hosing down those spotfires that leaders encounter and doing it before they erupt out of control.

4. Stay objective. We can all question motives, even if only in our minds, but this risks stirring more emotions and drawing more fire. Sticking to what is actually being said guides a discussion rather than controlling it. If you feel pressured, especially when a situation arises in the company of others, it can simply be wise to affirm the value of the person and what is being said, but to address the situation more appropriately later.

5. Assess carefully. It can be tempting to hook a ‘verbal bouncer’ for ‘six’. Sometimes, the appropriate response is to duck rather than be ‘caught out’. Allowing some ‘deliveries’ to ‘pass through to the keeper’ is apt discretion.  Some organisations have typically ignored criticisms or media questions until they go away, rather than be baited into a trap; be careful, though, since there is also a trap in dismissing legitimate questions. The key is to play each ball on its merits. Those who avoid engaging might get ‘clean bowled’ anyway, since avoidance of confrontation just legitimises any dysfunctionality that is already happening.

6. Defer decisions. We know not to make big decisions under pressure. Sometimes, though, an emotional situation can be similar. The tangled strands of spaghetti need teasing out and people are not always ready to address everything at once.  Even where there seems to be just one issue (and there rarely is, because of underlying causes) then clarifying issues often warrants a rethink, other inputs or deliberate thinking before determining what to do.

7. Seek input.  Unless confidentiality is being breached, it can be very helpful to gain the advice of a coach or mentor, not just in addressing specifics or a situation but in processing your own emotions and approaches which may not always be wise or healthy. I usually pray and seek some Godly counsel and assurance.  Sometimes you will just evaluate a problem in light of other happenings in a day and gain a new perspective, anyway.  Remember, too, we were never meant to do our leadership journey alone and others have usually been where we are!

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