Welcome back, y'all! Good to see you again! I know you're anxious to get going, so let's get after it. You're surrounded by Headless Chickens. What do you do? Here are a few tips.
1. Keep your head. It sounds like a corny play on words, but it's 100% true. Think on it. When you "lost your mind", what good were you for anyone? For yourself? What good did it do? You accomplished nothing. Keep calm. Process the situation. Make a decision and act on it. Execute your plan.
2. Speak up. Headless Chickens tend to squawk. A lot. And they do it loudly. I can tell you why this happens and explain such behavior, but we'll explore those things in another post. Make sure your voice gets heard. Don't just sit there. After you've assessed the situation, speak to it. Speak on it. Don't worry about being right. This is to show that you're engaged (I can't believe I just used that word. More on that in a few.) and that you're concerned and care. Because you do. At times, that gets lost on folk because of the Headless Chickens and their antics. Don't let it.
3. Black and white. Confused? Don't be. Listen. You've taken everything in. You've got the facts and necessary information. After the meeting/session, head back to your office or your desk and put your plan on paper. Whether that's electronic paper such as a Word document or an actual piece of paper. Who cares?! Just get it down. While the Headless Chickens are running about, you're coming up with a plan. For now and--watch this--the future. After all, you've seen the future and it will be. You'll have something to present to your manager and explain to her why your approach is a good option. It doesn't have to be the best one all the time (Note: Please don't fall into that trap! The trap of perfectionism.).
Those are a few things to help you survive and thrive while in the midst of Headless Chickens. I know you've got more. Share them with us! Remember, we're here to help one another.
As promised, here's a final thought about that word I mentioned above: engaged. Shamefully, some folk in leadership roles use it with a negative connotation. They say that you're not engaged. Allow me to translate that for you. "You're not running around like a chicken with it's head cut off like the rest of us. Like me. Because you're not doing so, that means you don't care and you're not getting anything done." That'd be cool. If it wasn't a lie.
Hears the deal. You care. You are engaged. It's just in ways that they don't notice. We'll hit those in another post. Side note: I'm starting to realize that this is going to require a bit more examination than I thought. It's all good. I promise to hit in full. Back to the point. You to need to realize that you engage for different reasons, in a different way, and with a different end in mind. You want more than an engagement. You want a good, solid marriage with your clients. After all, you're a relationship builder. And you want to build and cultivate strong, solid, mutually beneficial, and life-giving relationships.
Their thinking shotgun wedding. You're thinking, "Engagement?! I never accepted the proposal! And y'all want me to marry this mess?! No thank you." Friends, that's one of the reasons that you have to speak up. You can't afford to be attached to that mess. That's why you've got to have a plan in black and white. It's why you must keep your head. In spite of the criticism. I promise you that it'll bear you out. It may take some time (It will.). It may not happen in your current role, but it will happen.
I encourage you to fight the good fight against Headless Chickens. Believe it or not, there's a few things you can learn from them. See, I told y'all this thing requires more examination. I'll get after it. In the meantime, think of and share some of the other ways and tips that you use when you're surrounded by Headless Chickens. Additionally, think of some new ways that you can and will try as well.
I leave y'all with a lil' bit of Kipling. That's Rudyard Kipling to you. :-) This is from his poem, If. It applies to everyone. I encourage you to think on it. Apply it to your life. To your situation. Hang it on your wall. Remember it when you're surrounded by Headless Chickens. After all, it just may help to keep you engaged until you get the proposal you've been waiting for and the wedding you deserve.
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs...Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!"