Coach’s Challenge for 11/15/10 “Choose your Battles”

Good day, team,

The coach’s challenge for this week is to pick your battles wisely and examine what you’re fighting for. In our determination to prove ourselves “right,” we often lose our ability to see the big picture and in turn lose sight of our ultimate goal. That is, we may win the argument, but lose something more valuable in the meantime. I remember my high school debate coach saying that if you use all your energy to win one argument, you may run out of resources for the rest of the debate. It may also be the wrong argument to sacrifice to the competition and, in the end, you will have won the battle, but lost the war.

Each day at work, we face many challenges and opportunities with our fellow team members. We often agree on the ultimate goal but have completely different ideas about how to achieve it. We often find ourselves arguing about different ways to do things or become irritated because we think someone is doing something the wrong way. It’s our natural instinct to try to correct mistakes. This impulse leads us to compete or lobby for what we think is right. But do we consider the ultimate price we pay just to be right? Are we distancing ourselves from our team members as we try to prove something to others?

Focus this week on where you’re currently at odds with someone or something at work. Ask yourself these questions:

1.  What am I really fighting for?

2.  What am I trying to prove or win?

3.  How does this altercation relate to the overall goals we have for our team?

4.  If I win this battle, does it get me closer to achieving my ultimate aim?

5.  How can I think about this differently, so that my actions are more productive and less confrontational?

6.  What can I do to neutralize this situation rather than escalate it?

Consider other approaches that may be more beneficial in the long run. Sometimes restraining ourselves on matters we feel strongly about requires much more effort than allowing ourselves to fight for what we think is important. In the end, it’s the consistency of our efforts and desire to have the whole team succeed that wins the day!

Have a great week!

Kathleen

Kathleen Doyle-White

Pathfinders Coaching

(503) 296-9249

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