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When recognizing others becomes people pleasing: Part 2

We are continuing our conversation this week related to the potential downsides related to “recognizing others.” As I shared in last week’s post, If you are actively trying to recognize others and you are finding yourself exhausted, overwhelmed and frustrated that you cannot make everyone happy, this may be a sign you have moved beyond “recognition” to “people pleasing.”  Join me this week as we highlight the last two of three signs that indicate you may be doing too much “recognizing others” as well as what to do about it!

  1. Obsessing over conflict within your partnership.  We are working with people. Even if you have organizational representatives in your partnership, people are involved!  When people are involved, there will be conflict. And some conflict (believe it or not) can actually be really healthy! When we allow for disagreement in a respectful and collegial way, we can learn new things or new ways of thinking about things and potentially develop more innovative solutions to complex problems. There are other times that conflict becomes “noise” in your partnership. Some organizations have historical competitiveness and it doesn’t matter what you try to do or not do, they will have conflict with one another. You will not be able to get everyone to “play nice and share their toys.”  Rather than obsessing over the one or two conflicts and spending all of your energy trying to “fix” this relationship and improve the situation, you may need to pray the “serenity prayer,” accept the things you cannot change and focus on what you can change.
  2. Changing things too often.  Speaking of change…Do you find yourself always needing to “restructure” or adjust priorities whenever one of your partnership members makes a new suggestion or recommendation? Do you have a new organizational chart and structure more than once a year? Do you keep implementing something new each year rather than building on what you have already developed and learning more from it?  As we recognize others, we definitely need to be open to change and learn to be flexible; however, we need to be careful that we are not changing too much. We need to consider the purpose of our partnership, recognize the collective feedback and move forward together. If we keep changing things too often because someone has another great idea, we will never be able to accomplish our collective goals because we will be too busy changing things to meet the needs of one or two people. Keep listening and take notes – perhaps create an “ideas” notebook or electronic document – so that you can consider these diverse perspectives. Once you hear similar feedback and have recognized others in a collective way, it may be time to make a change.  However, if you have just one or two people “jumping up and down” about an idea or perspective that does not align with the rest of the partnership, sincerely thank them for their feedback and courageously let them know that we will remain collectively focused on our current topic/project/strategy for now and if they would like to pursue it as an individual organization, that would be great! Remember, you are in a partnership and not everything has to be part of the partnership’s priorities. Some organizations may do things very differently and may pursue other priorities. That is completely ok! Your job is to focus on the collective work of the partnership and be cautious you are not changing things too often.

What about you? What has worked for you related to not letting conflict overwhelm you or the desire to change every time someone has a new idea?

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Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

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