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4 Reflection Questions for Dealing with Frustrating Situations at Work or Home

Tension mounted in my gut as I tried to keep my face from contorting with frustration and anger…once again my little darling of a toddler peed on the floor 5 minutes after sitting on the potty! This isn’t how potty training is supposed to go, I thought to myself as I struggled to figure out what to do with my rage so she didn’t see it.

The corollaries between parenting and being a leader never cease to amaze me. Here I was processing my own emotions as a parent and feeling a new sense of understanding for a struggle my clients are dealing with…when anger about a situation builds so much momentum within that your emotions are like a run away train; reason, logic and compassion for others vanishes as the stark difference between reality and expectations set in.

Here’s the thing, Karla McLaren shows us that emotions are neurological triggers requiring an action. All emotions, the so-called positive ones like joy and love, as well as the supposed negative ones like anger and sadness, are indicators. The sooner you can acknowledge the feeling the quicker you can address it with a corresponding action.

For myself in the moment and for my client, the prevailing emotion was anger. Dealing with anger means you need to right a wrong. Often times this is because a boundary was crossed.

Here’s the thing, addressing the problems that caused you to get angry in the first place doesn’t mean you will magically get your way. Sometimes the best way to right the wrong requires you to rewrite the boundary. To re-evaluate and readjust your expectations. You just might be mad because you have unrealistic expectations and you need to determine how to readjust while maintaining your integrity.

For me as a parent, that meant I needed to shift my expectations of potty training…to accept that my daughter is not going to magically pickup potty training after a few days of making a concerted effort. As long as my expectations remain unrealistic the feeling would never get resolved.

The same thing is true in our work relationships. Often times when we get angry with a colleague or collaborator, there’s a story we are making up in our minds. As we craft this story we make assumptions and jump to conclusions about the situation.

We take it a step further, when in our minds, we decide what needs to happen to resolve the issue…the only problem with this scenario is that there’s at least one other perspective not being taken into consideration. Therefore that “perfect solution” you dreamed up in your head is never going to fly, which is why it’s important to take a step back and deconstruct the source of your frustrations. Here are four reflection questions to help you do just that!

What are you mad about? What boundary has been crossed or wrong has been done? How can you right this wrong and renegotiate your boundaries while maintaining your integrity? Who do you need to communicate with to re-establish your boundaries?

What’s Rosabella Consulting Up To?

There’s been a lot happening in the last week and more coming up. We just filmed a promotional video for the Poudre River Public Library District at our new office, which will be released soon. And we hosted a fun journaling workshop last week where we unveiled a new project we are working on with participants…we’ll announce it to you soon enough!

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