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Posts Tagged ‘unskillful’

I can't hear you...I made a misstep at work this week. I shared some harsh words with a co-worker around a heated issue. I was shocked with myself. I’m normally very cool in confrontational situations and pretty good at defusing tension and opposition.  I said some things that were disparaging and embarrassed this women in front of others. I might have been right, but by no means acted appropriately.

When I sat last night I couldn’t get away from how obvious it was that I had done wrong. Well… I should say it took a while to sift through the angry rants I had saved up for her and the self justifying speeches. But with some calmness and clarity I could see I hadn’t acted the way I wish I had and the only thing to do was to apologize.

I spent sometime thinking of how I would speak to her. I couldn’t cop out and blame it on the tension at work and the lack of sleep. I didn’t want to say, “I’m sorry that I said this but you did xyz.” I only have control over my actions and being of sound mind and able body I shouldn’t have treated her like that.

I went in the next morning and apologized. Unfortunately, she used it as an opportunity to lay into me. I sat and listened. Engaged the points that I could constructively and reemphasized my points of apology. I was a bit nervous. No one likes confrontation and the experience was humbling, especially to have such an ungracious response to honest attempt at an apology. Several times I had to return to my breath, center myself and be present.

Eventually, a cool thing happened. She got out her piece and started to calm down. We talked about how we could move forward in a productive manner. Later in the day she reached out with some overt attempts to be friendly. I took her actions to be a genuine attempt to say we could get through this and get back to a collaborative place in our relationship.

I’m glad I have a meditation practice which gives me a chance to reflect and choose how to best respond; even in the face of having acted so unskillfully.

 

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