Sandpaper moments are essentially those times that frustrate you, drive you up the wall or get your back up. It could be your manager undermining you or a colleague stabbing you in the back. Don’t over-focus on what you think is ‘being done to you’. Instead focus on what you want to resolve and how to do so constructively. Here are some tips.
Do what you’ll be proud of in hindsight: If you get all emotional when handling an unpleasant situation you’ve already lost. When you’re emotional, you’re unlikely to think straight or open to pursuing a productive engagement on an issue. Don’t do anything you’ll look back on and feel embarrassed by or that ends up undermining your interest in the long run. Seek coaching on how to handle the issue if you can’t trust yourself to stay calm.
Focus on principles before the specifics: When you jump straight to the detail, you lose the opportunity to anchor the resolution of an issue on a good footing. Don’t snowball things by throwing other logs in the fire and thinking back to all the times you’ve faced such a situation. When you are upset, it’s tempting to refer to other times when a similar thing happened to you. Focus on moving forward. Don’t get grouchy or remain in the weeds. It’ll keep you stuck.
Focus on what you want the relationship to be: Whether it’s your boss or co-worker that’s rubbing you the wrong way, consider what type of relationship you want with that person when working out how to handle the issue at hand. In any case, it’s always best to seek a positive relationship especially with your boss and colleagues.
Now take action: What one thing can you change in handling sandpaper moments? n