April 29, Anger Management 101: How a Communication Plan Diffuses Volatile Situations (Relating to Business Debtors Anonymous Tools Ten and Twelve)

Thought for today:

In business, there are times to detach from difficult personalities, and times to engage in dialogue.  The art is to know when to do which, and how.  Communication is always a key part of the art of dealing with life’s challenges.

Whether we lead a small business, a family, a government, or even just ourselves, the same idea applies: not addressing difficult personalities can sometimes cause situations to degrade into hostility or worse.  If we don’t manage anger effectively, it manages us, to potentially disastrous consequences.

Business Debtors Anonymous encourages us to detach from difficult personalities, and to put “principles before personalities”.  But what principles are they talking about?

BDA Tool Ten:

We detach from difficult personalities and poor paying clients and put principles before personalities.

Some principles found in the Eleventh Step Prayer:

We can find many excellent principles in the Eleventh Step prayer:

“Lord, make me a channel of your peace, that where there is hatred, I may sow love, where there is wrong, the spirit of forgiveness, where there is discord, harmony, where there is error, truth, where there is doubt, faith, where there is despair, hope, where there is shadows, light, where there is sadness, joy.”

The principles of peace, love, forgiveness, harmony, truth, faith, hope, light and joy are great ideals to aspire to.  They  may seem  impossible to carry out in an absolute way in life – like an idea of perfection that we can never live up to.  But this prayer is calling us to courage, not expecting perfect execution of these principles.

Assuming we are willing to have courage and be peacemakers, what do we need to do to make sure everyone has a voice, and that we actually do put “principles before personalities”?  

BDA Tool Twelve:

We are willing to be in charge and responsible for our business. Professionals such as accountants, lawyers, and consultants who work for us are not our higher power.

One answer: The Stakeholder Communication Plan:

There are too many examples of marginalized people in this world lashing out to ignore the lesson:  As leaders, we need to take charge, and consider all voices, even (especially?) those of whom we disagree.

One practical way to make sure everyone has been heard at the proper time is to develop a written communication plan for any project.  Before you begin executing the project, everyone and anyone affected by the project is identified, with contact information, and any details about that person that are pertinent in two-way business dealings.  And make sure to include their communication medium preference – phone, email, letter, text message.

Good leadership cannot exist without good communication.Our communications plan should include our employees, consultants, lawyers, customers,  citizens affected by our company’s actions, government agencies, family – anyone affected by our project. Remember, if we don’t plan for each voice, proactively setting considerate standards of communication, those voices will be heard later on, often painfully so.

Ask:

Am I willing to listen to the dissenters in and around my organization?  Can I fit communicating with them into my plans in some way?

Meditation for today:

Channel anger and fear to Peace’ advantage.  When  worried, in despair or scared for any reason, we can put that energy to use, first by speaking to someone about it, and then plan to mitigate the risks.

The larger our organizational reach, the more crucial this idea of channeling peace is. When leaders hunker down and avoid haters and shun them, hate festers.

Anger unpredictably seeks a grounding point.  When leaders do not listen and respond, they are usually outflanked and brought down.

When leaders choose the peacemaker role, speaking the truth clearly and with kindness, outcomes are always improved.

Affirmation for today:

“I can channel the anger in and around me to good purpose.”

“I am a channel of peace, love, forgiveness, harmony, truth, faith, hope, light and joy.”

Prayer for today:

“Lord, make me a channel of your peace, that where there is hatred, I may sow love, where there is wrong, the spirit of forgiveness, where there is discord, harmony, where there is error, truth, where there is doubt, faith, where there is despair, hope, where there is shadows, light, where there is sadness, joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted, to understand than to be understood, to love than to be loved.

For it is by self-forgetting that we find.  It is by forgiving that we are forgiven.  It is by dying that we are born to eternal life.”

Follow Through:

Respect for Project Management as an art, and as a profession, can lead to greater prosperity for businesses, and for humankind.  Here are two books essential to the prospective Project Manager in your organization:

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