Lance Armstrong recently spoke out about being stripped of all his Tour de France medals.
The interview has caused much debate about his impact when admitting his mistakes. The question raised was “Is he sincere?”.
Many people felt that on the first night of the two-part interview he was aggressive, egotistical, and narcissistic. I have to say that I understand where people are coming from. Lance’s word structure, tone and body language were aggressive and definitely not aligned with his message.
The second night I saw a slightly different side. Especially when speaking of how his mistakes affected his son. We finally saw some real remorse. We saw Lance the human being – not his Ego.
It takes a strong person to apologize and admit when they are wrong and ask for help. However if you are speaking from your ego and aggression the apology will unfortunately have the opposite effect and cause even more damage then the incident.
I should know, as I have had to fight to keep my Ego in check all my life. It is a massive force. If I had not dedicated my life and career to being an emotionally intelligent human being my Ego would have taken over my life for the worse. In fact I would have dedicated my life to writing a book called “Why I am right, and why you are an idiot”.
Thankfully my Ego still knocks but I don’t let it in. I choose to teach communication skills instead. Lucky you! (oops it crept back in).
When your Ego is raging like a Saturday Night in NYC, try and remember this quote by Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.“
The other person/persons have feelings and thoughts just as strongly as you do.
Think about your business life right now? What impact are you having emotionally on the people you are working with? Is your Ego holding you back like Lance? Are you taking steps to fix it?
Try these things:
1. Write down all that has happened starting with the person’s name.
* Example: Billy was aggressive in a meeting and didn’t listen.
- Now write down the same sentence but substitute the persons name with I
* Example: I was aggressive in a meeting and didn’t listen.
- This helps you see their side of the argument. It also brings some Self Awareness about how we also contribute to an argument and are guilty of the very behavior we are upset about.
2. Focus on the logical outcome you can control as opposed to the argument.
* Example: My Outcome is to complete the project as a team.
* Bad Example: My Outcome is to prove why my way of doing the project is right and only way.
- This helps set a logical outcome as opposed to one led by ego. This isn’t to say you can’t acknowledge how you feel about something or stand up for what you believe in. Just be careful to not still be experiencing those emotions when you choose to talk about the challenge. Remember Assertive is about being logical.
3. Ask for a convenient time to talk about the challenges you are BOTH facing and partnering TOGETHER to over come the challenge
- This way the other party and you can prepare to be at your most logical.
- Listen with empathy.
5. Take the Working Voices Assertiveness Course
- See you there!!