Recently I was coaching a client who just accepted a new high level leadership position.
She noted that after she resigned from her current role, her interactions with her current boss during couple remaining weeks in her existing position, became much easier, she was able to communicate what she wanted to change in the organization and enjoyed speaking to him.
We reflected together what has changed.
Before, with every interaction, she was considering what impact the conversation would have not only on the trajectory of the business but also on her personal career, she was trying to manage reactions of her manager.
Despite her success and recognition in a role, she was acting from a place of defending herself which is ultimately a position of war. It is what neuroscientists call fight, flight or freeze response, when cortisol is high, and dopamine pushes us forward. Threat was fundamentally driving her action.
When she knew her new role was secured, she was able to relax. She still cared about the business she was leaving and colleagues she enjoyed working with (she also would keep some shares in the company), she was able to talk and act from the place of peace and connection (it was actually oxytocin, hormone of connection, that was setting her dopamine, hormone of drive, into action).
We reflected together how would her life and her interactions look like if she managed to go into action from a place of peace?
My client remembered a wonderful example about her dog: When her dog is running around in her large garden, it is full of joy and exploration, his energy is playful. If someone approaches the dog in that moment, it will engage in playful interactions. When her dog is eating his food and you approach the dog, it would roar angry, uncertain whether his food will be taken away. I asked her which animal would she rather be?
When in your life, you find yourself responding from a place of defence and fight/ flight or freeze response, remind yourself of the following:
Focus on your body sensation (touch, hearing, sight, awareness of your toes, breath) and centre yourself
Feel compassion to self (not pity ie. poor me thoughts) and find something to be compassionate about in another person
Ask yourself: what story am I telling myself in my head and turn the focus to another: become the curious investigator of a story of another person
Let go of “future tripping” ie. projecting what could happen if a conversation goes one way or another and stay firmly in the “Now”
If you would like to have a personal conversation about similar situations, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to support you through real life events.
Lots of love, Tatiana