Help Me Communicate Intro to Separation and Timing for Ugly Conversations Sept 5 2018

Sep 05, 2018

When things get intense and ugly, how do we detach so we can calm ourselves, and approach with healthy reason and effectively communicate?

If you want to be a great leader you will have to get good at detachment and Timing when intensity and/or ugliness trigger in an interaction.

In the video below I share a technique and thought pattern for detachment.

One time I had to detach and postpone a conversation was when I was fired at 28 years old.   

The one time I was fired in my life was a difficult period. I was the lone provider. My wife was a stay at home mom and we had 2 kids. Being fired however, become a turning point in my career. I accessed my resilience and started my own business. It was a cellular phone business that I started from the trunk of my car and grew to 3 stores and 3 million in annual revenue before I sold it. I started the business with zero money and no investors. My first business cards were put on a credit card and I leased a car that I worked from. 

Almost year before I was fired I was lured away form a great job to open a new branch for an industrial fastener supply company in Edmonton. I was promised partial ownership of the branch after the first year if we hit our sales targets. The week after we exceeded the annual targets, four months ahead of schedule, the owner flew into town and invited me for a visit to his hotel room.

Here’s my HIP at that point in the situation. I heard the boss was coming in to see me - Sense. I felt excited - feeling. I knew I hit the targets ahead of schedule with higher than expected margins - thought. My intention became to find out how exactly the ownership deal was going to unfold. I wanted to know the details. My action was to go to the meeting.

Once there I was shocked that I was being fired. New reactionary HIP feeling. I was hearing him accuse me of using the company credit card to fill up my wife’s car - sense.  He accused me of stealing. I was quite surprised (another feeling). My thought pattern went to; the day I used the card to fill up two cars was about two months earlier and I called him and told him to watch for it on the statement. My company car had been in for service. I had a rental. I filled up the rental before I returned it. When I picked up the company car after returning the rental, it was empty so I filled it up at the same gas station. I phoned and notified him.

Let’s analyze my HIP as I was just interacting with myself on the day I filled up both cars. My HIP in that moment was: My senses showed me I was filling up two cars on the company credit card at the same gas station within one hour of each other. I thought it might look suspicious and my feeling was that I became afraid the owner might think I was stealing. My intention was to prevent the owner from thinking that, so my action was to call the owner and let him know to watch for it.

In the hotel room, after hearing him accuse me of stealing, I felt treated unfairly, I thought he was being unreasonable, I wanted to keep my job, (intention) and my action was to immediately remind him of the call. His response was, “you’re still fired.”  

I knew in that moment it was not a good time to do any negotiation. I quickly became aware of my human interaction process: I had just heard I was not going to have a job tomorrow. I felt surprised, cheated and angry. My thought was that I hit all the targets ahead of schedule and he doesn’t want to share like we agreed. My second train of thought was that I was the sole income earner in the family and we had two kids. I wondered how we were going to get through and how long it would take to find another job. My next thought was that it was best to negotiate when I was a little less angry so my intention became to negotiate postponement of any further discussion until I had time to reflect, analyze and get some advice. My action was to speak that I was disappointed and angry and that I was going to go home now I would call him in the morning to settle things.

I paused and avoided getting into deep discussion, blaming, name calling, or negotiating when my emotions were triggered to intense levels.

Before I left the hotel room, he said, “You’ll have to bring the company car in tomorrow.” My HIP began again: When I heard that, I became angrier and my thought was that he doesn’t deserve the car back. My next thought was that it was not a good idea to respond in that moment with my anger beginning to rage. My intention became to make him squirm a little so my action was to ignore him and walk out without saying another word.

After making a couple phone calls early in the morning to some mentors, I phoned him before noon like I said I would. Quick success principle tip; It’s very important in life, both personal and business, to keep agreements and when we can’t, it’s important to renegotiate before the timeframe the agreement was suppose to take place. This principle is key to managing conflict as well. If I didn’t have an answer for him by the end of the morning, I would have called and put off the final negotiation until the next day.

I planned the conversation using the CONTACT system and when I phoned, I shared my human interaction process by saying, “When you told me I was fired last night (this is sharing my sense), I became angry and I felt cheated. (This is sharing my feelings) I called some mentors this morning to get guidance.

You promised me ownership if we hit the targets for sales and margins. We exceeded those four months ahead of schedule. You’re firing me. (This is sharing my thoughts, perceptions and some actions outside of this interaction) I will give you the car back when you give me a cheque paying me until the end of the year. I want four months pay and you can have your car. (This is sharing my intention to get four months pay). My action was to speak my human interaction process directly to him on the phone.

It worked. I got my four months pay and some freedom and he got his car and didn’t have to give up any part of his company. The deal was completed in 3 hours. I got my check and he got his car.

By pausing and waiting until my energy was under control and then taking the time to get some outside advice before I planned my final conversation, I was able to plan the conversation with some confidence and then implement that plan to get the outcome I wanted.

In the video below we end with some work for you to do to practice your detachment. The more you practice effective communications techniques, the more they will become automatic for you when they’re needed.  Watch the video below and then practice you’re detachment and get good at it.


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