Everyone’s acting crazy – how do I deal with this without going crazy too?

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Is it something in the water? Does it feel like people around you are losing the plot?

Perhaps people are dragging those around them into their emotional whirlpool.

Maybe what was once a low-level behavioural concern, has now become a full-blown issue.

Perhaps people are pointing the finger of blame at everyone else, without looking at themselves.

People may even be operating at a personal, rather than professional level.

Maybe even ‘stakeholders’ have become super demanding.

Maybe it’s taking all your emotional energy just to keep everyone afloat (let alone the toll it’s taking on your own wellbeing).

During times of change, particularly in our uncertain world today where the rules are constantly changing, people can display some interesting behaviours. It can bring out both the best and worst in us.

If left unaddressed however, the unhelpful behaviours can become your new-norm.

Like termites, the behaviours can eat away at the foundations of the culture you are trying to create within your organisation. They can also silence others whose voices you want to hear.

So how might you address this?

    1. First, identify who is displaying the unhelpful behaviours. Dig a little deeper to identify exactly where the disrupt is coming from. Is someone in the background ‘loading the ammunition’, while another person has become their mouth-piece and is firing the ‘bullets’?
    2. Identify: the type of behaviour, level, impact & longevity. This requires some reflection. Get specific on what the actual behaviour is. How long has it been occurring? What is it’s impact on those around you?
    3. Determine if this is a conduct issue. If so, follow your organisational procedure. Know when to pass it on, or take it to another level of conversation and action.
    4. If not a conduct issue, then you need to “Call it”. (Note this is not for a disciplinary conversation. This is behaviour at a level that is causing a negative ripple effect to those around them).

Firstly, identify the issue/s (recent events only) and your part in that if any. Set a time to meet. Thank them for meeting with you. Table the facts only (harder than you think if you are feeling emotionally charged – but vital for everyone’s safety). Acknowledge any part you may’ve played, as succinctly as possible. Ask for their comment.

Next, listen to their response, then determine the best possible solution. This may involve re-setting the expectations between you, supporting them to seek external support, or modifying your approach to gain a better outcome.

In our leadership, we need to be both soft and strong. To embrace both our empathy and straightforwardness. To have both a strong back, and a soft front.

If you want to build internal capability within your leaders, so they are able to recognise and recalibrate unhelpful behaviours to build and sustain a cohesive culture of care within your organisation, then Emotional Intelligence Coach certification training is the first step. Find out more here.

Like a lot of my clients, you might be wondering how to keep your learning initiatives going in these disruptive times. I’m in the thick of creative planning with many clients about how we can help their people to thrive, and we’re coming up with some super-cool solutions. I am also still coaching and mentoring, and holding professional learning sessions virtually. If you’d like to chat about what’s possible, drop me a line.

MA :)

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