Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Shift your dance step, even slightly, and your partner must shift too.

Ever find yourself caught up in repeated frustrations or miscommunications with a particular individual at work? —An uncomfortable relationship, at best. Here’s some food for thought that may help you improve that challenging work relationship. Or, it may come in handy when dealing with that difficult family member.

If you find yourself in this situation, it’s natural to place blame and complain about the behaviors of those that are frustrating you. But if you’re willing to explore further, you may want to ask yourself how YOU may be contributing to the very dynamic that is upsetting you. —Perhaps your body language is reflecting your resentful anticipation of things going badly, and therefore generating the other person’s negativity or resistance. Or, your emotional or verbal reactions may unintentionally be adding fuel to the fire.

Think of your repeated interactions—positive or negative—with any individual as a dance that you’re both participating in. If you were to shift your dance step even slightly, your dance partner would have no choice but to shift along with you.

It may be awkward to start, but it’s worth a shot. It starts with your exploring your own part in the dance, shifting a small step or two, and with any luck, creating a new dance.


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