By Lauren Glickman, Foray Consulting
The Communication Toolkit talk presented at the September 5th PSALA meeting helped us understand that there is inherent joy and pain in our work and that one of the most powerful things we can do is understand our own relationship to those joys and those pains. When we relate to the context of our work world as if we didn’t choose the whole thing, we can end up making the pain even more painful by resenting it or resisting it. It’s hard stuff, yes, but is this the hard stuff with which you want to grapple? If we were pediatricians or hat makers we would grapple with very different joys and pains. We chose this world and we choose these joys and pains.
One way of looking at this is by using the term locus of control. An internal locus of control indicates that you are aware that you have influence over yourself and that whenever you feel upset about something it is because of who you are rather than because of the upset. So what does that mean in practice? Let’s use interrupting as an example. Someone with an external locus of control would say, “She makes me mad when she interrupts. She always interrupts in meetings and ruins my day.” Someone with an internal locus of control would say, “Why do I get so upset when she interrupts me? What is it about me that stands out so prominently? Why is that important to me and is there another way I could look at it?” In other words someone with an internal locus of control understands that they can influence themselves rather than merely waiting for the interrupting person to leave.
Another interesting piece of the talk focused on the idea of priming yourself by creating a practice that puts you in touch with something authentic and positive. This could look like having a five minute conversation with someone once a week about what went well. It could look like keeping a journal of the day’s accomplishments. Whatever it is that you choose to do, it will lead you to continue thinking in that direction and you’ll find yourself more present to the joys that put you into your work in the first place.
Lastly we discussed the Interpersonal Gap which is a way of describing a conversation in terms of intention and impact. A speaker has an intention and as it comes through to the listener, it has an impact. The difference between the intention and impact is the gap. We want that gap to be very small or even non-existent when possible and one way to increase that likelihood is by leading conversations with your intention. Let the listener know why you want to say this hard thing or deliver this feedback. It will help them listen well.
Lauren Glickman founded FORAY Consulting in 2007 out of a commitment to support those dedicated to inspired missions. Lauren is known for her straight talk, sharp insight, and warmth and brings practical experience, training, and curiosity to her work. Her specialty is helping participants develop the skills and emotional and psychological resources to thrive inside our high-urgency and high-intensity work environments. With over 20 years of experience, she is committed to helping individuals, teams, and organizations develop resiliency.
After completing a B.A. in geography from Clark University, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua. After many years in public sector organizations, Lauren earned a M.A. in Applied Behavioral Science from The Leadership Institute of Seattle with a focus on leadership development, training, facilitation, coaching, and conflict management in organizations.