You are listening to the My Freedom Grove podcast with Gretchen Hernandez episode 1.
Welcome to My Freedom Grove podcast. This is where strong people just like you come to have honest, open discussions about anxiety, depression and frustration. But we don't stop there. We go deeper by learning and applying mindset tools to it once and for all break free from the pain so we can actually enjoy our lives. I’m your host Gretchen Hernandez. I'm so glad you joined us.
Hello my Strong Friends! We're getting closer to Christmas. We've got about a week left. I'm sure at work, things are getting pretty stressful trying to finish up all those last-minute things for the end of the year. As you can imagine, tempers probably start to get a little bit edgy this time of year.
I thought that this topic would be great for right now. Which is “Taming the Uproar.”
We felt it building. We either have some of those uncomfortable frustration feelings building up inside of us towards other people. Or as we go approach other people, we start to feel it coming back. And you might have even been in some meetings or in some personal situations where things start actually flaring up pretty big.
I want to share this one skill that I've used for probably about two decades now. That has tamed any uproar -- that either I've experienced or that my clients have experienced. You'll be able to use this to defuse any type of explosion that you're having weather at work or in your personal life.
You'll be able to use this skill to defuse any type of situation even
Having this skill will leave you feeling calm and objective in just about any situation. What’s great is that this skill works both at home and at work!
As a bonus I've included some downloadable tools and some detailed examples for our Visual and Hands-On Learners. You can find those at my website at www.myfreedomgrove.com/podcast-3.
So what is this very important skill that's going to help you out? it's simply requirements. Requirements could also be called “Needs” although I tend to like the word ‘Requirements” better because it's a lot more objective. Some people have some thoughts around the word needs. Or they might turn it into neediness. But the word “Requirement” is more neutral and objective.
Whenever you start to feel that bit of uproar coming, it usually involves two or more people. I'll give you an example that you might have experienced yourself.
Let’s start with an all familiar scene:
You're in your office and someone does a drive-by. They have a quick conversation they want to have with you and your thinking okay. They said it's quick, so sure, why not? They start launching into a conversation that is best described as “verbal diarrhea”. Sorry, I know that sounds pretty gross. But you know what I’m talking about. Where they’re just going on and on and on. And your just like “get to the point already!”
To make things worse, you have a commitment that you need to be to in about 3 minutes. And they're going over time. They're making you late.
Often times what our mind does, is go straight to:
Thought: This person is being inconsiderate
This is going to lead to
Feeling: Frustration, anger, anxious.
Action: Inaction -build up frustration, let it come out somewhere else
Curt language or body language
Result: Late for commitment
Other person walked away disgruntled from their interaction
With you (you actions)
By using this Requirement skill, you would
You’ll notice that stating a requirement is an action. And you know me, I’m a Mindset Coach. Why would I be bringing this up just talking about actions? Because you need to have the right mindset change first, before you can even have that action.
If you're having the thought “they're being inconsiderate” or “oh, there she goes again,” It’s not going to give you the right feeling, that's going to lead to conveying your requirement in a calm and objective way.
In order to have the action that you want to have, you need to have a new thought that will lead to the appropriate feeling.
I want to introduce a thought for you to consider. The thought is “maybe she doesn't know my time requirement.” This is going to take a little bit of practice because we're so used to jumping to “They’re so inconsiderate” or “they're not respecting me.” But if you practice this, “maybe she doesn't know my requirement” or in this case “maybe she doesn't know my time requirement,” Then eventually it'll get easier.
When you have
Thought: maybe she doesn't know my requirement
Then naturally flows to
Action: Kind, calm, objective sharing of requirements
You have given her the option to decide if she can meet that time requirement or not meet that time requirement.
Result: You meet your time commitment
Condensed conversation or rescheduled conversation
Either way, you've both been set up for success by knowing what the requirements are.
So I mentioned one of the thoughts. I actually have three thoughts that I want you to consider for doing this type of skill.
Now,take out a piece of paper and get ready to write these down. You might even want to write them on your whiteboard if you’re in your office.
The three thoughts are these:
It was interesting, I was reviewing some poll data recently. It had several hundred responses on “What is most important to you in a relationship?” and the overwhelming #1 response was: Respect
I think that meeting each other's requirement is a pretty big aspect of showing respect. But what if the requirements were never shared with each other or what if the requirements were never set in the first place?
Here's an example where requirement was never shared:
Say someone has come and made a request. Or more specifically, they've told you to do something. Now this could be at work, this could be at home... it doesn't really matter. It's basically that someone has told you to do something and you have a thought that's pretty negative.
Thought: No, because....(schedule, workload, lack of resources, etc.).
They are disrespecting you or being inconsiderate
You choose not to share your requirements, or it doesn’t occur to you.
Action: Negative reaction (minor or quite the explosion)
Result: Damaged relationship
Going straight to the thought of them being inconsiderate or disrespecting you is definitely leading you down the path of feeling that horrible and having those type of results. But if you have the new thought of “maybe they don't know my requirement.” Because maybe they didn't. Maybe they don't know what's going on in your life and your schedule or workload or resources.
New Thought: “maybe they don't know my requirement”
Action: Share your requirements with them. In a calm, orderly manner.
Include visual aids, if you can
(schedule, resources that aren’t working…)
That's going to give you a much different outcome. But they need to know what your requirements were. Especially if you had requirements that they didn't even know where like a precursor requirement to you being able to do this work for them. Such as having the right resources. They need to know that those things weren't working. Once they know that, a calm, objective conversation about --what can be the next thing that will work for both of you.
Now let's try this from a different perspective. Let's say you're the one requesting something from somebody else. Or you're telling them what to do. What you're doing is an action.
Your action becomes the other person’s circumstance. They are going to have a thought about that. You could try to guess what the thought is, but you don't really know, right? Because they have their own mindset that's been formed through all of their lifetime and their experiences.
They're going to have a thought about you making that request of them.
They will have a feeling that you might think you know based on their appearance, but some people are pretty good at hiding their feelings.
What you will see, is a reaction. In this case, this is someone who is not going to say yes and just go and do it. Instead, they have a negative reaction. Maybe their face turns red. Maybe they say some some harsh words back.
Now their action becomes your circumstance. Now we're back into thinking about your thoughts and how you can handle the situation.
Now, it's really easy to start forming all sorts of thoughts about their reaction. But I'm going to suggest that you just look at it as either a positive reaction or a negative reaction.
Don't look too much into it.
Don't create meaning around it.
Just see it as either
Instead of getting tangled up on the details of what their reaction looked like your new thought:
Thought: Maybe I don’t know their requirements
Action: Ask questions about what it is they needed in order to be able to do that activity
Result: You're calm
Calmed the other person down
Most people are having a negative reaction because they're feeling like they're not heard. Or they're not valued or respected. But as soon as I start asking what their requirements were and if they were getting met or not, that calms people down. That makes them feel important.
Practice that new thought: “Maybe I don't know their requirements”
Now this different perspective that I've shared with you…
This introduced the concept of how everybody has the same brain processing step. From our first (podcast) episode, we went into this a little bit.
Brain’s Processing Steps
You have a circumstance---> makes you have a thought about it from your mindset--> generates your feelings-->generate your actions--> lead to your results.
With most interactions in life, you'll have two (or more) people. I think putting these two thought processes together in a circle shows the chain reaction that happens. You also know that with circles there's no beginning and there's no end. Just like life. You're always right in the middle of things. This circle is what I call The Framework.
It'll help you a lot to have the visual of what this looks like. I encourage you to go to this podcast episode’s page at www.myfreedomgrove.com/podcast-3. In the download section, you'll see a link for The Framework. This download will have:
That download also has a worksheet where if you could start to use this if you wanted to. For more detailed explanation -- a video explanation-- on how to use the framework, please check out the free class that's posted on the front page of my website. That is “How to Free Yourself from Anxiety Using Mindset Management.”
The Framework is a foundation for helping to understand how to interact with other people.
In those two examples, we were looking at requirements that were never shared. What about if the requirements were never set in the first place?
Have you ever had the thought that someone was being disrespectful or inconsiderate, but when pressed for details you couldn't express exactly how they did it? Most likely you had a requirement that was not getting met. But you had never really flushed out the details of what those requirements were.
Let me take a moment to clarify the difference between requirements and rule books. In podcast episode #2, I shared the concept of rule books. How we can have these thick rule books that are kind of generalized, and can be passed from one person to another, on how we think we should act in the world, and how we think other people should. Know this is different than requirements.
Requirements are different because they are a conscious decision of a need that you have that's very specific to something you have going on in your life at that exact moment. They’re often times measurable, such as a time or a quantity. And they're always observable. Like either something was present or wasn't present. Requirements are neutral by nature.
Requirements, when we look at them, are either met or they're not met. There's no judgement around it.
Rule books, on the other hand, are a lot less specific. They’re not necessarily tailored to you. They often weigh us down with moral judgment. They're not very objective at all. For more information on rule books, please go to episode #2: Rewrite Your Rule Book.
The reason I like requirements so much, is because they bring objectivity to any situation.
I remember when I first started working in my career. In my early twenties I got my first review of does not meet expectations. I always shocked! I thought I was killing it at this job! When I met with my manager, she told me I needed to be more efficient. I thought...I was already doing all this stuff, what else could I do? Carry more things all at the same time? So I fell into pretty reactionary response. That wasn't very helpful. Luckily, after a few more questions, I was able to gain my footing and asked 2 very specific questions that helped so much.
That changed everything. It turned out that I never knew the full scope of my work!
Once I knew that there were more activities that were required, and what time those needed to get done in, all of a sudden I was meeting the requirements in no time whatsoever.
I could have been really enraged. And to be honest, at the beginning of that review, I kind of was.
But once I was able to get the requirement, I could be really objective about that. Once I saw on a piece of paper...I wrote down all of these different tasks. It was pretty obvious I did the top half and not the bottom half. But now that I knew that all of these existed, I could set myself up for success and actually get it all done. And I didn't need anyone to tell me if I was meeting the requirements or not because I had it all listed there in front of me in black and white. Either I did it or I didn't do it.
It seems like, in life, we're running on autopilot when it comes to requirements.
All of the requirements are more in our subconscious. We don't think about it We just have this inherent knowledge of what it's supposed to be. But we don't ever get really specific and write out what it is.
How do you start to bring them to your attention?
A really easy way is with your emotional flare gun. Or other people's emotional flare gun. Once you feel your emotional flare gun go off, ask yourself these two questions:
Now it might be as simple as just pulling out a piece of paper and trying to think it out. Write out: what was it?
But sometimes it's kinda hard. You’re staring at just a blank sheet of paper.
I have a great tool that I've used with my corporate clients for years. I've actually found that it's quite transferable to even personal life. It's something called a SIPOC. A SIPOC stands for Supplier, Input,Process, Output and Customer. What it does is... it’s looking at the individuals that are involved in any type of a process. It's looking at the handoffs between them. The Input and the Output are those tangible things that you can see between them.
What I've done with this tool is, I've added in requirements columns. Because often times, people haven't really thought out what they need as well as what other people need. I know High Achievers, we tend to put our own requirements on the back burner and focus a lot on other people's requirements. This tool is proven quite helpful to a lot of my clients that were dealing with their frustration.
I'm not going to go into a huge amount of detail on this tool because it's kind of hard to just talk about it. It's easier to have a visual. So I've also included in the download section of this podcast, two examples of this tool completely filled out for you to be able to see how to use this tool. One is for work and one is for home. That will give you an example of how you pinpoint where, exactly, you're having problems that are resulting in your emotional flare gun.
For the purpose of this podcast, I'm going to give a shortened, condensed version of the SIPOC.
Imagine you just have 2 people and there's just one thing they need to do. They need to have a conversation. Person A prefers to have a conversation that's not on a telephone. And person B prefers to have a conversation that doesn't take forever.
Remember, we want to give our brain something that's in the affirmative to do. Having a thought of:
Thought (negative requirement): I don't want it to be a phone call
Thought (negative requirement): I don't want it to go on forever and ever
is not very helpful. So we try to define the requirement as very specific as to what you DO want. Otherwise, you're left up to a big guessing game that's not going to set you up for success.
Person A, if she doesn't like to have phone calls...What does she like to have? Maybe she likes to have video calls. Maybe she likes to do face-to-face meetings. And person B, maybe a 10-minute conversation is right for him, instead of an hour-long conversation or one without a time limit.
Once they're very specific, and they know themselves, and they’ve set this for themselves, they can communicate it to each other.
That's really important. Because if you don't communicate it, how is someone going to be able to honor your requirement?
Now, you want to set both of you up for success.
It's very important that the requirements of both parties are met.
Remember, requirements are objective. They’re either met or they're not met. Try not to put any type of moral judgment around it. Because that's where you're just going to lead yourself back into feeling frustration.
There will be times when the requirements are not met. What you do in those times, is simply:
For example, the meeting was 15 minutes instead of 10 minutes. Point out that the meeting was 15 minutes and that your requirement is 10. And ask what could be done next time to ensure that it is 10 minutes.
Your objective is to feel calm in these interactions.
Using requirements helps to set that stage for objectivity.
In the beginning, I mentioned that you could use this skill to defuse any type of situation including:
To get ahead of it --Think of what your event is that is coming up, what your requirements are and what the other people's requirements are. Don’t forget to think about all of the auxiliary people that might be included in that. They have requirements too.
Breaking Point - that's when you need to take that pause and ask yourself
Explosive Situation --where either you react in a very negative way or the other person is reacting in a negative way. Quickly switch your thoughts over to “Maybe the other person doesn’t know my requirements”.
It can take some practice because we tend to get sucked into the details of the other person's reactions, including the type of words that they're using or how they're saying it. But if you stick to just they're having a positive reaction or negative reaction, and know that if it's a negative reaction, it might just be because they don't know that there was a requirement.
To have compassion for the other person. To have compassion for yourself. You can find that neutral middle ground by using requirements.
Alright my strong friends, that's all I have for you today. Remember to go check out those free downloads on my webpage at www.myfreedomgrove.com/podcast-3. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]. Until next time, have a great week
Thank you for listening to My Freedom Grove podcast I hope this podcast provided you some relief and some inspiration. If you know somebody else that can benefit from this podcast please share the link with them. Together I know we can make a difference! To access more podcasts and offerings please visit www myfreedomgrove.com. Until next time, take care of yourself, this world needs you!
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