Part of being Thoughtfully Fit is getting really clear on what you want, from a conversation, a relationship, a job or life in general! This is not easy, as many of us don’t really take the time to pause and think about what we want from a particular situation. However, in order to get to a win-win you need to do something even harder: think about what OTHERS want and need, and act in a way that takes that into consideration.
This month we’re focusing on BALANCE which is the second external practice of Thoughtfully Fit. Balance is about being mindful of your wants and needs, and balancing them with the wants and needs of others. When we honor both our own needs and those of others, we can create communication and relationships where everyone feels heard and valued.
Speak your truth in a way that can be heard
Although it’s great to be clear on what you want, that doesn’t mean we can just walk into a room and demand it. Picture this: your team leader comes into a meeting with an idea for a new initiative. Everyone is already feeling a little overworked, and so enthusiasm for the idea is muted at best. To your left one coworker just crosses his arms and rolls his eyes. Someone across the table shoots the idea down before your leader is even finished explaining. You decide to just go along with it since you aren’t up for the fight, even though you have no time for it either. Now, whether the plan goes forward or not, none of you are looking for balance. These are all win-lose situations, or even worse lose-lose where NO ONE gets what they want.
What’s the alternative? Well, instead of just saying no, you could offer ‘This idea sounds so innovative! However, the reality is that we’re all super swamped. Could we discuss a timeline that would allow us to wrap up our current project before starting on this?’ This way, your team leader feels like there is support for the idea, but your team has protected its need to not to take on additional work at this moment.
To help your message be heard, it always helps to use a soft start up. For example, you could first mention something about the idea that you like or find exciting, before trying to push it off until a later date. Take the time to pause and think about a way that your message can be delivered in a way that will be heard. That will set you up for a win-win when you’re ready to act.
More curiosity, less judgment
When finding balance, it is important to build understanding and respect for other people’s feelings and actions. If you aren’t sure what is motivating them – ask! Get curious, ask powerful questions and you may find that you are even closer to a win-win than you think.
When you ask questions and listen FULLY to the answers, you also help to build connection which makes it even easier for you to live in balance with those around you. In addition, a better understanding of others can help build empathy which is also key to balance.
My challenge to you this month is to identify one relationship you have that is out of balance and think about two small steps YOU could take to get closer to a win-win. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!
Thoughtfully Fit® is a leadership model to help you coach yourself to a life you love.
Darcy Luoma Coaching & Consulting (DLCC) creates high-performing people and teams through coaching, speaking, and consulting. We focus on leadership development, improving communication, and working through conflict in a positive way.