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  • Writer's pictureRobert Norton

I can't stand him

“I can’t stand him!” a client complained when I asked her why she was dreading an upcoming meeting with an executive. This client, an operations leader in a large construction company, was promoted a few years ago based on her track record of success. But she hates the bureaucracy that comes with leadership and has a low tolerance for what she calls the corporate shenanigans of her executive team—especially this guy. “All he cares about are the optics,” she grumbled.

At some point, we all end up working with people we struggle to find affection for. And the more we dislike someone, the harder it is to find common ground.

When a client has difficulty connecting with someone critical to their success, we focus on the skill that can help build bridges: empathy.

As much as we hate to admit it, we tend to judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions. And we certainly don’t spend much time wondering what might underly their annoying behavior. However, if we get curious about what drives a person, it can help us develop a strategy to deal with them.

Think of the person you find most challenging right now. What need might be driving that person’s behavior? How might that change your strategy for dealing with them?

All MindFrame Minute stories are used with permission from clients.


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MindFrame, LLC delivers leadership and professional coaching, strategic consulting, and keynote presentations to help you create change for good. Custom services can be conducted at your organization or virtually.

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