Remember that chant from grade school? How about “I know you are, but what am I?” How could we fully understand the truth behind these two phrases when we were but 10 years old? Yet there it is, there is a big persons truth in these words too, although we might not want to use them at the office.
People revel their own fears and insecurities when they accuse us of being stubborn, or a bully, or insensitive. When their hot button gets pushed (and we discussed hot buttons earlier) the default response to to push back. I have yet to have someone say “gee Brian, thanks for pushing my hot-button so I can deactivate it.” What is most common is a response not unlike the schoolyard retort “oh ya, well you’re a booger head!” except it comes out in big person language more like “I am tired of your bullying, your insensitivity.”
I am making this point because it is a recent experience in my own life. The challenge that I was a bully made me stop and think about my actions, to become the Involved Observe (read It’s All About Me). After a long sleepless soul search I came to the realization I was being accused of something that person had experienced at the hands of someone else in their past. They were reveling their own fears and insecurities. Yes, there is a chance that I might be blind to a tone in my voice or my body language, but in context of knowing this person I feel fairly confident the issue was not with me, but them. Still, because it kept me awake so long, maybe, just maybe there is something of which I am not consciously aware at work here. I will close with this: read It’s All About Me and find out how to use the Involved Observer process, and by saying “thank you for pushing my hot-button so I can deactivate it!”