Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Two different maps - two different worlds

By James Kyle

Right now in my working environment there is a particular person who is making it difficult for me to complete my work objectives. In fact he is actively getting in the way of me doing so. To be fair, at times, he may personally believe that he is being helpful. However what I am experiencing is interfering, controlling, aggressive behavior that is the antithesis of the supporting, helpful behaviour that I do find from most of my colleagues.

Now in the past, in response to this, I would have firstly be getting quite angry and judgmental about this degree of unwelcome interference. Secondly I would have been questioning my own ability. And finally I would probably be also feeling threatened and perhaps even becoming negative and judgmental about my own efforts. If this person thinks I am doing such a bad job ...

Instead, these days, I simply acknowledge that he personally is doing his best and any shortcomings are the outcome of his own conditioning. I realise that I do indeed have many supportive colleagues and, it is just a fact of life, that by the law of averages I will have to deal with people from time to time who are going to cause me issues. I recognise that there are traits in this person that are triggering me, and so, I do question myself. However not about my ability, but about how can I handle the situation better? How can I respond in a difficult situation to minimise the challenges that these interactions are bringing up? What can I change inside  me to improve my interaction with this person? I can't control this person's behavior, but I can control my response. Further, seeing life as a mirror, I pause to consider to what extent I personally may be demonstrating similar behaviour without being fully conscious of this. Overall, I simply use it as a learning experience.

Two different mental maps. Two different worlds.