Coach’s Challenge for June 06, 2005

Good day, team,

The coach’s challenge for this week is to pick your battles wisely. 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 our way in the meantime. I remember my high school debate coach saying, “If you use all your energy to win one argument, you may run out of resources for the rest of the competition. 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. Sometimes we find ourselves arguing about different ways to do things, or we become irritated because we think someone is doing something wrong. It’s our natural instinct to try to correct mistakes. This often 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 engaged in battle 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 proactive and less confrontational?
6. What can I do to neutralize this situation rather than escalate it?
7. Try considering other approaches that may be much more beneficial in the long run. Sometimes not engaging in something that we feel strongly about requires much more effort that allowing ourselves to fight for what we think is important. In the end, it’s the consistent stride that wins the race.

Have a great week!

Kathleen

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