Dear Dr. Sylvia,
I know you think that we can all transform our negative patterns. I have my doubts. You see, I read your book…twice! And I still have a serious problem.
I took the Pattern Aware Quiz and know I am considered a persecutor/bully. I have worked hard to change my style from being sharp and caustic with my team members. The transformation from persecutor to visionary just ain’t working!
Right now my job as team leader is on the line. My supervisor has put me on a performance improvement plan since three team members said I am negative and judgmental.
Sweet and Kind Underneath
Dear S and K,
Always remember, the menu is not the meal! While you have read my book…twice…it takes more than reading and agreeing. It takes ACTION. And for many of us, it often takes a wake-up call to begin the hardest part of pattern transformation.
Knowing the patterns is not enough. Even understanding where they developed (hint: most likely in your original organization, the family) is not enough. It is the strength training of daily decisions to redo your communication with others that is the key to success.
Your supervisor has given you the gift, a whack on the side of your head which may get you going.
Let me help. Here is a major lesson in communication skills: Timing.
It is not what you say or how you say it that is most important, it is when!!!!
I am guessing that you had the role of “boss” as a child. That means you were in charge of telling your siblings and maybe even your parents what to do and when. You may have had to take charge to get things done. And deep inside you know what to do and get frustrated when your team mates are slow or ineffective.
However, this is where the persecutor often gets in hot water. You need to ask permission before you state your case. Others will not hear your suggestions unless and until you simply ask if this is a good time to talk.
Practice this: say to your teammate “I have some thoughts I would like to share with you. Is this a good time or let me know when we can have a few minutes.”
Often people who are hard wired to be in charge forget this courtesy. You will be heard more effectively and will gain respect from your colleagues as someone who considers their feelings in a positive way.
Let me know how this powerful shift to think about others first, works for you.