When you view someone as an adversary, you probably don’t see the underlying misunderstandings that created the opposition. There are always hidden forces at work that can’t be seen (yet.)
In a meeting this week someone said something that hurt and irritated me. One part of me wanted to cut him down to size. Instead, I waited – which gave my ego time to cool down. Then, later in the meeting I realized that he didn’t even know what he had done.
ALL situations contain more than meets the eye. When you have to deal with an adversary, if you can sacrifice your desire to strike back, you will unlock the hidden elements which created the opposition.
By Shar McBee
6 thoughts on “How to Deal with an Adversary”
In Libary School in the 1970s, I was hit on how many ways something very simple can be viewed differently. When arranging items in the catalog, there were only 2 rules. Items were arranged alphabetically and a space came before a letter. The rest of one-inch book explained those two rules. Just one example: How to file the Disney story about Dalmations is it One Hundred One or One Hundred and One Or is it treated as a number 101 — each is right, but when we were working with physical cards it was impractical to file a card in each of those places.
So, I learned that the person may not truly be an adversary, but just may not view the situation like I do and maybe I should try to see the situation from his/her point of view before I tried to express my point of view forcefully. He/she may have a valid point of view, too.
Joyce Ann, what a perfect example! When we jump to conclude that people are adversaries, we erect barriers around OURSELVES. We block our own understanding, don’t you think?
Wow. What perfect timing. One of my employees has just made an official claim that I am being discriminatory. I am this person’s supervisor, and we’ve had a bumpy road, but I am still stunned by the accusation. I wanted to yell at this person, make a snide comment, or something to let them know I’m mad and feel unjustly accused. But, the right thing to do is to say and do nothing. An investigation will take place. I can stew about it and get mad or just let things unfold as they will. I can only control how I react to the situation. That is my lifeline right now.
Anger is like fire. If you add any fuel – no matter whether you are right or wrong – the anger blazes bigger. Best to keep quiet until the fire dies down.
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