In the past seven days I've gotten myself into three heated conversations (read: arguments). While I know I do have the ability to ruffle feathers - who doesn't- this amount of conflict is insane and very unnatural for me. I want to learn from them, so welcome to a post where I'll openly journal about my experiences in efforts to understand and learn.
In the first conversation I felt used. Generally when anyone feels that way, the potential for regrets are high. My regret is that I didn't stand up for myself, but allowed myself to be a tool. Ultimately it's not the person's fault, it's mine; I allowed it. That is why I'm so upset. And so, before I get myself into another convo like this, I need to figure out my boundaries. Danielle Evans shared something she heard, "It's like offering a plate and not the whole fridge."
Taken Advantage of.
The second conversation I felt my 6-year-old daughter's soccer team was taken advantage of. You'll need a little backstory: This week's opposing team was good - really good. When it came time for me to coach my 9-year-olds, teammates from that previous opposing team lined up to play against us. I was shocked. These kids that are crazy good and are playing up (meaning 7 years olds play with 9 year olds), are still competing against kids their own age - defeating teams that just started and leaving the losers in a pool of their own tears. Because the league allows kids to play up and they already played games with the older team, theses talented 7 year-olds should have been on the roster of the 9-year-olds - contending against teams of their own caliber.
While kids are allowed to play up, it's against league's rules to play on more than one team. Feeling like the coach had no empathy on how they crushed their opponents, I used the league's rules to my advantage. So I called it out in front of God and everybody, sending kids away crying. I shouldn't have did that. To be frank, I was utterly shocked by the other coach. I simultaneously tried to mentally sort out what was happening and spewed half sentences to the affect of "No, they can't play." Diplomacy wasn't a thought - and it should have been.
Being hurt, on the behalf of the kids, lead to emotional spewing instead of rationale dialogue.
And that emotional vomit led to my last heated convo with the league's staff coordinator. She essentially told me my delivery sucked. I was so livid it was hard to have a reasonable conversation - and any amount of sound reasoning to backup my actions were lost with my eyes bulging out of my head.
There's a ton I learned:
- Convo 1: Have a pre-determined menu of things I'll talk about for free, and those that I need to charge for.
- Convo 2: Don't debate in front of kids, any kids. Or any people that are involved. Pull the decision makers aside and go through the details. Once a conclusion has been made then communicate it.
- Convo 3: Don't argue when emotional. Simply state the other person's thoughts are worth hearing out and discussing. To give them proper respect I need to do so when I'm more clear headed.
I don't have to partake in the convo when they start it.
4. General: When I emotionally argue I lose credibility. The person will be understandably resistant to hear me out after-the-fact.
5. General: Conflict isn't bad. But how it's handled can be.
6. General: I can't control what the other person does, but I can control how I respond to it. Respond > reacting.
There's still more to comb through, but I'll leave that to my personal journal ;)