Updated: May 23, 2022
Have you heard of the 50% rule? I was reading an article titled " How to create friction free relationships" by Sharon Melnick to paraphrase one point in a great article Sharon talks about being responsible for only your 50% in a conversation. Recently I've been intentionally focusing on owing up to my 50%. So let me let you in on a little secret, I'm human and with that, not perfect. I have flaws like others, but I'm going to bare my soul just a bit.
I want to be perfect. I don’t want to be mean or angry and in my head I justify my anger. Not so much as “the voices in my head told me to do it” But more from the perspective of “ my daughter didn’t listen repeatedly, so I have the right to get angry.” But really, it’s me. I mean it’s obvious it’s not you it’s actually me.
I need to focus on taking responsibility for my actions and relaxing myself. I can’t expect my 5 year old to calm down while her mother is acting like an irate monkey. If I came across an irate monkey I wouldn’t be able to act totally together, so I can't fault her when she’s watching my behavior. I am actively trying to draw that imaginary line between us and try to improve my behavior so then I can work on helping her. It is much harder in the moment when my brain is in the red zone. I have found that while I may accidentally cross the line, I acknowledge that and jump back over to my side. I will continue to work on the reverse breathing technique and hopefully keep that trick in the front of my mind so I can access it before I jump the line.
One thing that I have seen progress on is the ability for me to take responsibility and apologize. I know when I’m in the wrong and I want others to know that I’m not that far out of touch. I understand the mistake I’ve made and am willing to try and fix it. So today I was cognizant of my goal for the 50% rule. I was intentionally working on handling my own emotions. It’s just so easy with my daughter to lose my s#!t!
This morning before school she purposely pushed her sister off the couch because her younger sister wanted a turn to hold the caterpillar they found outside.
This type of behavior really irks me because it’s just such a jerk move. Well I took away the caterpillar, and that set off the water works and the tantrum. Which normally starts to intensify my feelings. I knew it was coming, so I got down on the floor in front of her and started rubbing her back and whispering instead of talking louder. She sank down into me and stopped screaming but was still crying. I continued to talk softly and told her why I took it and when she could have it back.
This moment could’ve been a lot worse. The tantrum was over very quickly, we moved on and she got the caterpillar back very soon. It was a win! I will celebrate that win as a small victory for all mothers and humans everywhere.
I think it’s important for me to not engage and do the first reaction my brain sends my way. “ I will not engage, I will not engage, I will remain calm and handle my feelings and my reaction. I will set a positive example.”
I'm sure you're thinking, " Why is this story important to me, why am I reading it and what does it have to do with the workplace?" Well, I commend you on asking great questions. Apply the 50% rule to your life at work. Be responsible for only your emotions, & feelings. It's easy as humans to take on the emotions of others and feel that we need to control them. But start small and make a conscious effort to stand on your 50% of the relationship being the best you can be and being true to who you want to be in the relationship with your colleagues.
So for now, I’m going to continue improving myself. I’m going to continue doing all that I can, to become the best version of myself and I encourage you to do the same. As you continue to work on the 50% rule at work you will start to see other modeling the same behavior and before you know it you will be actively implementing the 50% rule all the time!
At work sometimes it's hard to keep control of our emotions and model the behavior we want to see. I would love to hear your feedback on crazy emotional explosions and how people don't model the behavior they set.
If you feel there are people in your workplace or in your life who could benefit from coaching, I'm happy to set up a complimentary session to see if coaching is right for your team.
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