Part 3: Coping with Obstacles
It’s the second week of January and you are back to the grind. All the hope you felt on January 1 from new “you” that would mark this year has deflated. The new goals are already forgotten, the wonderful implementation plan has not worked. So, now what?
This is a very common experience and the people who make it out of the woods in this difficult phase usually do because they have a coping plan. The coping plan is a strategy to overcome obstacles, both seen and unseen, and, it is quite similar to action plan in Part 2 in this series. If one must be intentional about practicing leadership, one must be equally deliberate about overcoming obstacles. Again, the video from Bite Size Psych can help (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLrd9mybAXI), but first we need to do some reflecting…
Identify Potential Obstacles
Before we can determine how to cope with obstacles, we need to identify what they might be. We know ourselves better than anyone and if we take honest look at how we stand in our own way, this might be a good starting point. We are not our only enemies, but we can at least control the obstacles we create for ourselves. So, let’s start there.
If my goal is to listen more intently to my teammates, my children, and my husband, what are some of the obstacles that I could anticipate?
And the external obstacles are also helpful to anticipate:
As you can see, there any number of obstacles that can stand in the way of our best intentions. A coping strategy might be:
“IF I feel rushed and lack time to listen, THEN I will tell my colleague/child/spouse that I really do want to hear the whole story and will need to set aside a time later in the day for it AND then schedule that time.”
Dealing with Unanticipated Obstacles
It would be nice if we could anticipate all obstacles, but, of course, that is unrealistic. The coping plan might need to happen in retrospect for unanticipated obstacles, but we also need to be mindful enough to see these obstacles and know we need to devise a work-around.
What obstacles have you already ran into? How can you create coping plans to work through obstacles when they inevitably arise?