I want to step away from my typical blog posts today and share with you a TED Talk video my boss showed during this morning’s team meeting. It starts out as a discussion about collaboration, but the body of it focuses on that pesky human habit of becoming defensive in difficult situations.
The video resonated with each member of my team in various ways, both with our personal lives and also with some sticky work situations we’d been ruminating on just a few minutes before watching the video. It also brought to mind my favorite words of wisdom from my taekwondo instructor: “Don’t let it escalate.”
Your homework assignment:
The speaker’s definition of “defensiveness” is profound. After you watch the video ask yourself these three questions:
1. In my most recent conflict was I really defending myself against another person or was I trying to defend myself from my own fear or insecurity?
2. What are my early warning signals that tell me when I am becoming defensive?
3. What can I do to constructively handle a situation where I know I am becoming defensive?