“You’re wrong!” Susan’s mother said with venom.
“I’m different,” my client, Susan, replied, firm and steady.
When Susan later told me how she remained calm and assertive, I replied, “That’s great. You had a great moment there.”
Susan and I had been working on her rehearsals, preparing her to respond skillfully in conflict situations.
Similar situations rise up in business when tension is high, and a great leader must respond skillfully.
Later, I was reflecting on assertiveness and the important difference: An Excuse versus An “Adapt-Step.”
It’s important for us to note:
An Excuse stops our progress cold.
An Adapt-Step helps us deal with a tough reality and still move forward.
Here are examples:
- An Excuse: I don’t feel comfortable at networking events. (Result: I avoid them.)
- An Adapt-Step: Networking events cost me personal energy [a tough reality for an introvert]. I set boundaries and stay for only 1 to 2 hours. And I am choosy about only attending the most important networking events for my business success.
I have been thinking a lot about the “Adapt-Step” because that is a vital portion of my online course The Introvert’s Formula to Get Clients – Next Session Begins June 11th. (If interested in this online course, send an email to email@example.com — and become eligible for a discount.)
I’m an Introvert. There, I said it. I’ve learned to overcome “excuses.”
Recently, I replied to a client’s question with: “I broke into three industries cold (no contacts): feature film, speaking and academia. Not bad for an introvert.”
My friend, I encourage you to pause now and use a sheet of paper. Write the headings of two parallel columns: 3 Excuses and 3 Adapt-Steps. Write down three examples from your current life in the 3 Excuses column. Then brainstorm and write 3, 6 or 9 possible Adapt-Steps you could take.
Successful people I’ve interviewed report that they face fear and personal excuses. Then they transform the situation by listing their next actions (what we call Adapt-Steps).
They take action.
I emphasize: Confidence is not comfort. Instead focus on these actions: Get the coaching, do the rehearsals and take action using your next Adapt-Steps.
Special Note: A special form of an Adapt-Step is trimming things from your life that drain your energy. Ask yourself: “Does this strengthen me?” Then make good decisions. Perhaps, you’ll limit your exposure to certain negative people.
Spoken Word Strategist – Executive Coach
Speaker-Author, 45 books so far 🙂
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