Dealing with Challenging People? Try an Approach of GRATITUDE
October 4, 2022
October 4, 2022
As the new school year gets underway, chances are better than excellent that you’re going to encounter some challenging people, whether they be students, parents, administrators, or a variety of other folks. After all, why should 2022-23 be different than any other year?
What could be different this year, though, is how you handle it. Dr. Maria Church, a speaker, consultant, and executive coach, thinks such relationships are excellent opportunities for growth. She suggests you focus on GRATITUDE, which she defines this way:
Giving. Give someone the benefit of the doubt when they challenge your patience. Try giving that person some grace. You really don’t know what is happening in their lives that may be influencing their “challenging” behavior.
Receiving. Position yourself to receive what the challenging person says with openness and without judgment. This action may be awkward at first, but can be positive, as that person complaining believes that you can do something about it – they have faith in you! If they didn’t, they would say nothing.
Abundance. Choosing an abundance mindset over a scarcity one affords you the opportunity for many different outcomes. Trying to find a solution can sometimes be exhausting because you may not see options. With a scarcity mindset, the options are typically either/or. With an abundance mindset, the possibilities are endless, energizing solutions instead of an exhausting experience.
Thankfulness. Being thankful for the challenging person may be the last thing on your mind. However, the situation may just be the growth you need or want as a leader. And when growth happens, it shows up as experience and wisdom.
Intention. Leading and living with intention is the needed edge to be effective. When you approach a challenging person with a specific intention, your thought (intention) influences your behavior. If your intention is to come to resolution, then your behavior will match.
Together. When dealing with a challenging person, remember that they are connected to you – not on an island on their own. Find a connection. Do you share a love of art? Horses? Books? Bring that connection to the forefront for the dismantling of the challenging situation.
Unconditionally. No conditions, without strings, no quid-pro-quo when breaking through the challenge barrier – nada. If you want true connection, unconditional presence and no judgment will help immensely. If you accept others for who they are, you will find the challenging aspects of them diminish.
Directed. A direct focus on the challenging individual enhances your presence and the way you show up. When you direct your attention, body language, and energy towards the challenging person, it will be noticed and appreciated. This tells the other person that they are valuable and important enough to be given your full attention.
Everyone. Everyone is challenging at times. When challenging people come into your life, there is a lesson and an opportunity for you. The choice is yours in what you want to do with that opportunity. How will you react to it?
Church believes that following the GRATITUDE steps can go a long way toward making positive change in your school’s culture. You can make an important difference—the choice is yours, she says: Choose well.
To learn more about the work of Dr. Church, visit www.DrMariaChurch.com.
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