Power vs Force

To become a great leader, one needs to realize that “one size does not fit all,” when it comes to leading. “My way or the highway,” is one approach, but is it the best approach? And, of course, there is always the power versus force question. I believe the greatest leaders are the ones who can quickly assess a situation, keep their emotions under control, and choose the tool from their tool box that best suits what is in front of them.

Keeping our emotions under control is not easy, and I am the poster child for how NOT to do this. I am very quick-witted but with that comes a very sharp tongue. The words come out of my mouth before my mind has the opportunity to say, “Are you sure this is the best approach?” And very often, it’s not.” But I am consciously and intentionally trying to correct this.

Fast forward to me entering a coffee shop last week. The barista was mopping behind the counter and appeared to intentionally ignore me. She continued to mop, then took her time to return the mop, then did something else and finally came to the counter with complete disinterest and asked, “Can I help you?” Oh, how my mind wanted to let her have it! My words were piling up at my lips waiting to burst out, but I decided to make a better choice and ignore her previous actions—that’s a big step for me. I proceeded with my order, oozing with niceties. I asked her about the baked goods and which one was her favorite. She lit up and directed me to the carrot cake muffin. My blood pressure had gown down by now, and she was smiling, too. It was a miracle for me, but I discovered that I can control my emotions. How would things have been different if I had let her have it? I think we both would have left that interaction in a bad mood. Would I have changed her behavior with my snippy words? No way. Did I change her behavior with my kindness? Maybe, I’ll never know. I used to think “winning” was when no one got the better of me (force), but now I have a different view. “Winning” is when I choose how I want to handle a situation—and that’s power. Just my thoughts.

Let’s GO! WE GOT THIS!
Beth

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