By Andrea K. Hammer
Anyone forced to protect a business and independent project will experience immediate–and sometimes heated–reactions. Decisions about how to handle these situations will reveal the inner strength and hallmarks of a true leader.
Here are some tips for navigating these potholes and maintaining equilibrium:
- Take time to reflect: Although the web has created a medium for instantaneous reactions, resist the reflex–especially when a situation incites ire. As a human with feelings, the impulse to let thoughts fly may result in undignified responses that you may regret. Shut off your devices, walk outside, breathe some fresh air, think or simply clear your mind.
- Consult a trusted adviser: Are you seeing red after experiencing unjust treatment? For perspective, ask a trusted colleague for input. Weigh observations carefully before any knee-jerk reaction that could fuel the firestorm.
- Keep your own counsel: Ultimately, you will need to decide if unfair practices are worth dignifying with a response. Only you can decide if chancing another round with possible fallout is worth the effort.
- Use your own communication tools: If you have been prevented from continuing your work because of deliberately imposed blockades, rely on your own resources. The beauty of operating your own website, social media channels and other communication tools is the ability to voice and publish thoughts directly. Claim your power, but exercise this freedom through your own communication tools responsibly.
- Step back and assess arguments objectively: When a situation pushes a hot button, a kernel of truth may contribute to the sparks. Have the courage to look at these issues honestly and acknowledge valid points, which can help bridge differences.
- Think about lessons learned: Every challenging situation is packed with useful information. If you are willing to learn from these troubling incidents, they can become invaluable guides about necessary steps.
- Maintain proper perspective: Although repeated attempts to destroy your work can reveal others’ capacity for and interest in destruction, keep your eye on the larger vision and your commitment to create. Instead of sinking to the imposed negative level, search for any positive element and rise above the intent to pull you down.
- Make respectful and on-point reactions a priority: Even when others engage in unfair and harmful practices, avoid striking back. Instead, find a way to continue your work and maintain your dignity.
- Move forward with clarity of purpose: After gathering all of the information, think carefully about your next step. What message do you think is important to convey and uphold your position with integrity? How can you elevate the situation to increase understanding?
- Reinforce your contributions to reach your goal: Remain focused on the key question: Despite all of the imposed obstacles, how can you reach your goal and continue to make a meaningful difference?
What steps have you taken to protect a business and independent project? What are other hallmarks of a true leader? Post your comments now!