Sometimes we have behaviours that do not serve us well. We know this and yet we catch ourselves repeating the same mistakes.
Why do we develop blockages and what do they say about us?
We are our best enemy
It is in our nature to exacerbate our blockages. Tell a hypersensitive person not to let themselves be affected and you can be sure that they will be even more emotional… Tell a person with impostor syndrome that they are good at what they do and you will foster their sense of imposture…
We unconsciously pick up on the nature of the blockage in those around us. The perfectionist will be called a control freak. We might say that the self-saboteur could if he wanted to …. We are very good at pinning down other people’s blockages and labelling them !
Why are we so good at pinpointing other people’s blockages but so bad at pinpointing our own ?
A chess game doomed to failure
We unconsciously have strategies with those around us all the time. This is especially true in teams. We develop “work” strategies with our colleagues.
For example, we know that it is easier to pass on work to one colleague rather another. Or if a project is not progressing, you can count on this colleague to ‘shake up’ the reluctant ones. We adapt our behaviour according to the person we are dealing with… Unconsciously, we develop multiple relational strategies on this vast chessboard of “relations with others”.
If the dynamic is good and everyone finds their place, the team will operate effectively. But other times, the relational loop between two people does not work and crystallises frustration on both sides. And this can hold back the whole organisation.
Getting out of the game is not the answer
But what can you do to get out of it ? Opposition rarely works, or it works to the advantage of the person who has the most weight in the organisation. Escape is the most common solution and it works: the relational loop is broken … Nevertheless is it actually solved ?
Certainly, by putting yourself out of the picture, the situation is likely to improve. Because relational loops are created in function of the environment and the people you are with. In another environment, with other colleagues, the problems may disappear… Or reappear…
In any case, any conflictual situation leaves a mark in our story for some time, especially if we were the victim !
Frustration as a driver for change
So what’s the solution? I’m going to disappoint you …. There is none that you can implement yourself. To decipher the multiple relational loops within a team, you will certainly need an external facilitator. Especially as some people may have no interest in changing … It becomes very difficult to convince them …
But let’s say you suffer from this kind of uncomfortable relationship loop … That these situations repeat themselves over and over again throughout your career … That these blockages are holding you back … And that all this is frustrating you …
Well, congratulations !!! Because frustration is the very engine of change. From the moment you experience it, you can start thinking about how to change your behaviour !
You are a musical score that others can’t read
When you are frustrated, you can be annoyed, stressed, disappointed, disgusted, revolted … Knowing exactly what your emotions are is not insignificant. Because your emotions say a lot about you. You are a musical score in which a range of emotions that should be listened to are expressed.
Let’s take three examples:
Do you feel that your opinion is ignored in the team while others are listened to? People may say that you are not recognised…
You feel that other people’ s demands are so high that you can never satisfy them … People may say that you are lacking in self-confidence …
You feel that others remain passive despite your encouragement to make them active … People may describe you as stressed.
But do you think that saying to people they don’t feel recognised, that they lack confidence or to others that they are stressed is a real solution to the problem ?
Your blockages reveal a lot about your values
No need to keep the suspense going … no, of course it’s not a solution. In these examples, the need for recognition, lack of self-confidence and stress are only symptoms of your blockages, not the reason.
These symptoms say a lot about you ! By examining the symptoms, we can trace the value that has been undermined. Let’s look at our three examples again:
- If I don’t feel understood while my colleague seems to be so assertive, it may be that I need comfort in the relationship and that my actions need to be validated by others. I value comfort to feel protected. If this value is affected, I can develop the misunderstood blockage.
- If I always feel overwhelmed by the demands of others while my colleague manages everything, it may be that I need to refine my actions to have the feeling of finalising them. My value is vigilance to complete my tasks correctly. If this value is affected, I may develop the Perfectionist blockage.
- If I feel frustrated by the passivity of others, it is because I have a high sense of expectation and the completion of my actions is more important than the conditions in which I complete them. My value is the anticipation to create. If this value is affected, I can develop the zealous vigilante blockage.
Knowing how to listen to your blockages
It is never easy to answer this question: what are my values? On the other hand, we can more easily express our frustration when things are not going well for us. This frustration is like the negative aspect of our values.
That’s why, to help you understand your values, I have created 7 blockage figures so that you can situate yourself. Would you say that you are rather an imposter, a perfectionist, a hypersensitive, a self-saboteur, a misunderstood, a vigilante or a consensual?
Knowing how to identify your blockages in situations where you have been challenged will help you trace them back to your emotions and ultimately to your values.
Your blockages say a lot about you and your values but you can learn to listen to your blockages!
It’s up to you to train yourself to activate a little alarm bell that will alert you if you allow yourself to be overwhelmed and trapped in a blockage.
Doing this work on yourself will help you avoid conflicting situations, demotivation, excessive stress… You will be more at ease in your work relationships, more efficient and above all more at ease.
Some information about my online training course ” Removing your small blockages to face the bigger challenges at work “ which will start at the beginning of January 2020
In my online training, through interactive workshops, and under my benevolent supervision, you will be able to practice simple coaching concepts in a group, which will allow you to understand your values thanks to the methodology I have developed. These tools will be of benefit in your daily work on the long term.
=> Registration HERE (course starts on 7 January 2020)
A few words on the author
Luz d’Ans is an ICF certified Executive Coach. After graduating from Sciences-Po Paris, she worked for 15 years in large international groups as a Risk Manager in France, Singapore and Switzerland. She is trained in neuroscience applied to leadership (neuroleadership) and in systemic business coaching. She accompanies individuals and companies in the challenges of their transformation: complex projects, talent upskilling and recovery after a life accident.