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Neil

How do you deal with bad intentions?

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In Kain's life coaching course he discusses intentions and being mindful of your own emotions before reacting to something someone says or does. Assuming the other persons intentions are good then I have found this is relatively easy to achieve.

But let's face it not everyone's intentions are good, even if they aren't an inherently "bad" person.  People naturally manipulate situations to suit themselves not necessarily to best help the other person.

How does everybody deal with these kinds of situations and people? 

Is the only way to confront, discuss, accept and forgive? I think I often struggle with the latter especially if there is no remorse for the hurt or negative impact on your life.

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Ask questions! 
Going from the assumption that the person was acting on their own interests and not literally causing someone else harm, that is ... then you can approach such a person by asking them these questions:
(BTW: don't worry about the "why" question at first - the other "w" questions are more powerful in this situation):
What are/were you trying to achieve?
What is/was important to you about this <action>?
What goal do/did you expect would come out of this <action>?
What would/could be an alternative to this <behavior>?
What could you have done/said in this situation that would have been kinder/more fair/more open to ambiguity?
How else could you have approached this <situation>?
And listen to their answers - let them know that you are taking them seriously -  be sure they understand you are not taking their actions/words lightly. 

It helps when you can be your totally-authentic-self in such a conversation, and express your feelings to their behavior without being accusing. i.e.: 
"This hurt me."
"This  <behavior> feels demeaning/unfair/wrong to me."

A couple of "key words" are in here:
ambiguity: can it have meant something else and you're taking this personally?
fair(ness): for who? Do you both have the same definition of "what is fair?" Can that be clarified?
hurt (being/feeling):  is it true? Can you express what exactly "hurt"?

It is a typical coaching situation ... someone feels like someone else hurt/pained/disrepected/... them and they think they have to change the other person. But you cannot change another person. It is hard enough to change ourself.  So the only thing left to do, is to explain what is going on inside yourself and let it go. Forgiveness is not for the other person - it is for yourself. So you don't dwell on it, so you don't give the other person power over your feelings, thoughts and mental agility. 

XX - Debby 

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Great answer Debby, especially the last paragraph.

I've been trying to think of situations where you wise words might not work. So I thought of business and relationships within a company.

Say you have a manager and one of their staff is angling for their job. Now this person could be doing all sorts to undermine and make the manager out to be incompetent just to get a better job.

So applying you questions and finding this out doesn't help you as there will be no resolution until they get the managers job or the manager fights back and manipulates things to their advantage... I.e get them sacked.

I think what I'm trying to get at is being faced with a human obstacle dead set on changing your world for the worst, how can that be dealt with without resorting to more devious tactics. Whats the resolution? I know what I'd do. But then again I think I'm quite mean.

Can anyone else think of a better example than mine?

It's just something I've been mulling over. It's not something that affects me at all but I like to push these principles (in my head) to the limit to see if they stand up in all scenarios.

 

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Hi Neil.

As a coach we are meant to be none judgmental, If we start the coaching relationship believing the client has bad intentions we are already judging.

Also let's take a criminal who robs to feed his family, or the drug addict that needs to feed a habit. Yes he/she sets out to possibly break the laws of there land, but the intention is survival in whatever form it takes. 

The above probably won't come for coaching, or wont tell you if they did. But if we then judged them to be bad, or evil the coaching relationship wouldn't be possible😆

 

 

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Just a thought 

 

if if you see it, call it.  I find immediacy cuts through behaviour really fast.  I can’t assume someone has bad intentions, because I don’t know what drove them to where they are, so I just call it as I see it and  see what happens.

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Hi Neil,
Well - we're talking about two different things here now ... one is a communication skill and the other a coaching topic.  Let's start with the latter:  if someone comes to you (as a coach) with this question, then you can help them by giving them guidance on the questions they can ask - those were mentioned already. (Lesley put it even more succinct:  use immediacy to get to the chase.) On the other hand, if you are looking for the communication skills to manage such a situation yourself - personally - then you are "going it alone" and, although the questions are still the right ones, the real question that needs an answer, is: is the person that is feeling wronged able to stand up for themselves?  Then it becomes a question of feelings of self-worth and self-confidence.  That is where coaching comes in. 
Any situation where someone feels overwhelmed, or at least not sure of what to do, is where guidance in determining the feelings that are causing the confusion can be helpful.  That is where the coaching part comes in.
Hope this helps to clarify it a bit more 🙂  

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Great input guys. To clarify I'm not coming from a coaching angle, more of the self-helpers angle. I've just been mulling over some of Kain's words from the course and as I like to do, over think, analyse and try and break them.

So are you saying Debby that if this manager came to you with this issue of a coworker looking to usurp them  and from your questions you found that they lacked self confidence and self worth, that you would then build on this so the manager could fight back? Is that too much like taking sides for a coach? Is taking sides necessarily bad? If it is bad, how do you as a coach stop yourself doing it.....perhaps this would be another good topic/video for someone to post on another thread and explain further.

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3 hours ago, Neil Smart said:

Great input guys. To clarify I'm not coming from a coaching angle, more of the self-helpers angle. I've just been mulling over some of Kain's words from the course and as I like to do, over think, analyse and try and break them.

So are you saying Debby that if this manager came to you with this issue of a coworker looking to usurp them  and from your questions you found that they lacked self confidence and self worth, that you would then build on this so the manager could fight back? Is that too much like taking sides for a coach? Is taking sides necessarily bad? If it is bad, how do you as a coach stop yourself doing it.....perhaps this would be another good topic/video for someone to post on another thread and explain further.

Interesting thought, Neil! As a coach, for someone who is coming to me for support, I guess I may be partial to that person. For one, because I am only hearing one side of the story: theirs. And for the other reason: because I am trying to support that one person - and not "change" anyone else. It isn't so much about "fighting back", but rather, helping the person seeking clarity, what is holding them back from "re-"acting in an appropriate way to the challenge that is coming at them.  Why does this manager feel threatened by a co-worker? If the person was feeling safe in their worth and value, would they even think that, or feel like, someone else could undermine them? That is at the core of the question, wouldn't you think? It is a dog-eat-dog world in the business universe these days ("been there, done that") and you will always come across someone who knows more than you, is more skilled than you or has more experience or a better university diploma or whatever. Yet if you are confident in your what your own worth is - for you - then this will just be a matter of good communication skills, resilience and maybe even a dose of humor. 

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When it comes to intentions, seeing someone else’s intentions  as “bad” is an internal  perspective. We really have no idea what the person’s actual intent is and we are not usually in a position to get to the core of their intent (outside of a Coaching relationship.) When we assume an intention is “bad”, we tend to come from a place of reaction rather than a place of response. 

 

Everything that we do, is done to meet a basic human need. The intention to meet that need is never a bad thing, the way we go about meeting that need is where our lack of life skills can get us into trouble.  For example, the need to feel significant is not a bad thing, and there are constructive and destructive actions we can take to meet that need. 

 

In the example you have given, you really have no idea what is going on in the subordinates life that is causing them to behave in such a manner. There could be a crisis they are dealing with, there could be a self esteem issue, etc., and I can guarantee you that at the core of their actions is an intent to meet a basic human need.

 

Understanding that a person is not “bad” but rather,  they currently lack the skills to meet their needs in a constructive way, allows us to come from a place of compassion which in turn, allows us to find forgiveness for ourselves and others.

 

Coming from this perspective changes how we approach a resolution. Setting and sticking to our personal boundaries will enable us to move forward in a manner that keeps our integrity intact. 

 

On a a personal note, understanding this concept that people meet their needs based upon the life skills they currently possess, completely changed my perspective on life. A few years ago, I suffered a horrible betrayal by a family member. Until I stumbled upon this concept, I was bitter and angry and consumed with thoughts of revenge. But, once I understood the “why”, I was able to forgive this person. The forgiveness was for me, not them. As they say: resentment is like drinking poison hoping the other person dies.

 

I set boundaries and completely removed this person from my life. I no longer feel any anger towards this person, only compassion. Beforehand, just the thought of this person and what they did, would send me spiraling into obsessive thoughts. Now, I am at peace and the memories of what happened have no effect on how I feel about me or them.

 

”Change your perspective, change your life”

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On 7/11/2018 at 6:45 AM, DNatureofDTrain said:

I found another simple question is just... "Why?" ... "Why did you do that?" putting that together  with the questions in the first post. Instead of What asking Why, can clarify intentions...

Hi,
There's a reason why "Why" is not the best question: because it gives people wiggle room to justify themselves - instead of thinking about what the motivation was for their behavior. When we, as coaches as "why" questions (not always, for sure! But we have to mindful of this when we ask the "why" question), we aren't looking for a solution, rather for a reason. And with "what" and "how" type questions, we put the focus on alternatives. Semantics, in a sense, because "what was your reason for doing this..." is actually almost the same as asking "why" - only it moves the client into a meta position instead of an internalized position. They give reasons - but not justifications.
Hope this explains why I left out the "why" in my original post 🙂 
 

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For me knowing how or why they justify what they are doing would help me guide them on other ways to approach the situation....

Are we dealing with pain? hurt? jealousy? loss, someone seeking thrills? Someone seeking revenge?...projection. blame shifting...

But, sometimes it is best to figure this out by sharing similar stories to the situation.... so as you guide them to more proper solution.. they do not feel on the spot about theirs.. From what I understand from the courses we are not suppose to judge a person's intentions but do our best to guide them in the right direction with unconditional positive regard... As many doing things wrong just have not yet learned what is right.. This is where the work of story telling can come in and discussions about those can help too...

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16 hours ago, Debby Spaltmann said:

Hi,
There's a reason why "Why" is not the best question: because it gives people wiggle room to justify themselves - instead of thinking about what the motivation was for their behavior. When we, as coaches as "why" questions (not always, for sure! But we have to mindful of this when we ask the "why" question), we aren't looking for a solution, rather for a reason. And with "what" and "how" type questions, we put the focus on alternatives. Semantics, in a sense, because "what was your reason for doing this..." is actually almost the same as asking "why" - only it moves the client into a meta position instead of an internalized position. They give reasons - but not justifications.
Hope this explains why I left out the "why" in my original post 🙂 
 

I came back to re read this post. I understand it now. :) . 

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On 7/11/2018 at 7:52 PM, Lynn VanSomeren said:

Everything that we do, is done to meet a basic human need. The intention to meet that need is never a bad thing

Is it a basic human need to make more money. I'm talking hypothetically here to try and find a point where this all breaks down. The staff member isn't meeting a basic need as their basic needs are met, they have a job, they have clothes on their back, a place to stay and are comfortable. I have come across many people in business and personally who just want more and are willing to screw people to get it. You just have to look at politics to see a multitude of examples. I don't think people always come from good intentions or to meet a basic human need. Quite often they can come from a place of greed.

I think my point here is you are coaching the Manager, not the staff member. How do they deal with it? Or maybe nobody is being coached here, just a manager trying to find a way to deal with their staff member.

If coaching the staff member then we could get to the bottom of the greedy, I want I want attitude but the manager probably wont have the skills to do this, plus who says there is a reason and it can be solved. People can just be greedy for no real reason right? It's part of society these days.

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51 minutes ago, Neil said:

If coaching the staff member then we could get to the bottom of the greedy, I want I want attitude but the manager probably wont have the skills to do this, plus who says there is a reason and it can be solved. People can just be greedy for no real reason right? It's part of society these days.

You could always require them to listen to the section in Kain's course about unconditional positive regard.. including respecting others people's property. If something went missing. you can give a time frame in a couple days for either the item to return or money to appear to replace the item in a room or place the others do not go to and give the stolen item a chance to reappear have everyone one by one walk through the area then at the end see if it reappeared... another idea..

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