Assertive Crisis Management
A few weeks ago, I nearly missed my flight and escaped certain doom in Don’t Miss Your Flight, Superman. One of my loyal readers asked me a profound question. “How did you make your flight?” I referred to my final thoughts, “I was nice, but assertive.” The reader was not convinced. I got off my high horse and dug deeper.
I’ve been spoiled the past few months. Most of my readers are like-minded and can process my stories, lessons, and mantras. But in an effort to improve my writing and expand my audience, how can I expand my post to readers who don’t process things the same way? Taking a step back, my posts may be lacking some detail.
Let’s go back to the scene of the crime. After waiting for a mind numbing, anxiety filled half an hour; one of the attendants informed me I was in the wrong line! I needed to wait in another line that would have wasted another half an hour. Three agitated customers immediately swarmed the attendant. What went through my mind in those precious moments?
Shake Off Disbelief
I was stunned for a few seconds. “How could this happen? My wife is going to kill me. My friends and family would be disappointed.” I peered at the clock. I had one hour left. Can I logically wait in line, burn another half an hour, waste more time with the security screeners, run to the gate, and hope a seat is still available? After a few more seconds of processing, I had to find another solution. In the past, I would bury my head in the sand and hope for the best. Even though I most certainly would miss my flight, I would justify the result with “What else am I supposed to do? I did try my best to get back into line and hoped for the best!” I was so afraid of confrontation or being assertive that I would choose the path of least resistance even though the outcome would be the worst possible one for me. I would subconsciously miss my flight to avoid dealing with the crisis head on.
If this is your thought process, let me tell you from my experience, there are better solutions than the one you usually take. In fact, although it is very uncomfortable at first, knowing you are looking to maximize your gains and be more efficient, choosing an assertive solution is a win-win-win scenario. You just need to get over the hump of speaking up for yourself and getting what you need. Your old way of non-confrontation, on the surface saves you from being uncomfortable. But in the long run, you waste your time and you scramble everyone’s plan around you. In fact, you are going to head for even more confrontational moments, especially since your significant other will not be a happy camper. Remember that phrase, “A happy wife means a happy life.” I know some of these words are like Greek and perhaps right out of a fortune cookie. But take a step back and ask yourself, Could you tweak your old mindset for a happier more efficient life? Is speaking up for yourself really that bad? Being assertive and getting what you want isn’t evil and confrontational. It’s all in your head. Let these non-productive thoughts go.