How To Turn 6 Awkward Moments Into 6 Uplifting Moments

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um-121813-emailDuring this time of year when we’re completing our list of what needs to be done for the holidays, family visits, and year-end strategies, it’s easy to slip into an awkward moment.

Here are six I’ve noticed!

  1. You rush into saying yes when you really meant to say no. Now you’re stuck with a commitment you don’t want to keep. Awkward!
  2. You hired someone and they’re not working out. It’s the holidays, but you still need to terminate their employment. Awkward!
  3. People ask you questions you don’t want to answer. They know you’re holding back information that’s really none of their business. Awkward!
  4. You tell your boss your great idea, and he shoots it down with facts and figures. You feel stupid because you didn’t think through possible objections. Awkward!
  5. You give someone feedback and they go ballistic. You vow never to talk to this person again, but you see them everyday. Awkward!
  6. You’re speaking, and someone interrupts you, and then takes over the conversation. You slowly boil, wait till they stop speaking, and try to take the conversation back, but everyone has moved on to another topic. Awkward!

The best way to understand awkward is to understand it’s opposite … skillful.

Use the times you feel clumsy in words or action to pause. It will give you time to think on your feet, the earmark of a skillful person.

It will also give you time to think kind thoughts. With a kind thought you create opportunities to be uplifting with others, and the situation itself. Here’s how.

  1. If you say yes and it’s really a “no”, revoke your commitment now. The longer you wait the more awkward it becomes. Own up to the truth of the matter. No excuses, just the truth. The uplifting moment is when you remember that you can respond to any request or invitation with “let me think about it.” And then give a date by when you’ll respond. It will give you time to determine whether you truly want to say yes or no.
  2. It’s always challenging to find out that someone is not working to expectations. I have the philosophy that people know when they’re not being successful. The uplifting moment is when you realize you’re releasing them so they can be successful and happy. Hold that in mind.
  3. Why do people ask questions? They’re curious. Answer what you can, or simply say, “I’m not free to discuss.” The uplifting moment is when you realize you don’t have to answer a question just because someone asks you. This is liberating! People will forgive you, and actually admire your ability to be confidential.
  4. As humbling as it is to have our great ideas rejected, the uplifting moment is recognizing the opportunity to overcome objections. When someone challenges your ideas they are showing interest! Instead of stopping the conversation by feeling stupid, ask questions that get at the heart of the objection. Even if you don’t get to “yes”, everyone walks away smarter and with more information.
  5. Powerful, loving relationships tolerate feedback. When someone is defensive, they’re trying to protect themselves. The uplifting moment is realizing that you can diffuse the “how” someone responds by not reacting or resisting. Stick to the facts, ask questions, breathe, and love the person you’re talking to you. Yes, love them. You’ll start smiling, and more often than not, they’ll start listening.
  6. Interruptions! This is probably more stylistic than intentional. People get excited about a topic or just hearing themselves talk. They get triggered by a concept and want to contribute. They think if they don’t speak now, they’ll forget what they wanted to say. The uplifting moment is giving others the space to be themselves around you including the interruptions. It’s often the quiet one that gets attention, for when they speak everyone listens. Trust that it will come back around to you … in time.

This week allow any awkward moments to be instructive for you. Turn them into uplifting moments so you are breathing easier throughout the day.

My love goes with you as you work with this Uplifting Moment.

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