The birds outside my bedroom are getting noisier every morning, and the increasing number of rabbit tracks across my yard tell me they are venturing out more and more.
Meteorological Spring is here, and with it comes more hope for transformation in our inner and outer worlds. I have spent the winter hibernating and studying more and better ways to make significant behavior change happen, including the newer research in how our brains function and are remodeled. My heart is lifted; I hope yours will be, too, when I share these techniques with you during the coming season.
How can I soar with eagles when I work with turkeys?
I remember this sign in an organization for which I worked years ago, and when I thought of some of my colleagues, I laughed in recognition.
Much later, I recognized that some of them probably had my face in mind when they looked at the sign and laughed.
The expression refers to someone (me, of course) who would be a high performer in this environment, if it were not for the underperforming people around one.
In fact, it often describes people who are doing something so annoying that we feel frustrated and avoidant.
Here are some common turkey behaviors.
- Bluffer & Blusterer: sounds so confident that others clam up and stop offering ideas, even if they feel the B & B is wrong.
- The Clam: doesn’t offer ideas in a group setting but confides criticisms to a favored few later on, leaving others feeling mystified or betrayed.
- The Checker: constantly protests and wants to slow down others until all the facts are in. They never are.
- Just likes to have fun: turns every meeting into a kind of party or joke-fest which can derail actual progress.
Have you noticed that all of these people seem to be motivated by insecurity? They’re not doing it to YOU; they’re just doing what they do to protect themselves. These behaviors are signs they are under stress, and everyone has typical ways of dealing with that stress. For example:
- The B & B is just trying to avoid feeling out of control. Listen, appreciate the offering, and then speak up. This person isn’t keeping you from speaking up; you are.
- The Clam is terrified of speaking in a public setting. Ask the Clam in advance of a public meeting what he or she might contribute. Listen carefully in a relaxed manner so the Clam isn’t afraid to speak in your presence.
- The Checker is afraid of being wrong. Lavish praise for the carefulness he or she brings to any situation, then gently bring the Checker back to the original goal that is being pursued.
- Just likes to have fun: This one is terrified at not being liked, and is competing to get the most attention. Suggest that the JLTHF use this enthusiasm and high energy level to inspire and motivate others.
Once again, they’re not doing it to YOU. They are displaying the fact that they are under stress, and maybe could use a little help in de-stressing. Offer that help, if you can.
By the way, what kind of turkey are you?
The Confident Introvert
“You don’t look like an introvert” is a phrase I hear frequently when people learn about my new book and program, The Confident Introvert. This is a sad reflection on the way introversion is perceived in our society, as some kind of defect rather than another way of thinking and being – a rich, productive way, I might add.
Surviving in this kind of culture is not easy, and I have spent years learning how to do it successfully. Share my journey and my wisdom. Go to http://www.ConfidentIntrovert.