Friday, June 1, 2007

Being trapped

It sucks to feel powerless. You can describe this feeling in many ways: Not in control. I have no choices. I can't do anything about it. And, and, and...Being stuck is a strong emotion.

When you feel that way, you tend to shut down and not see any opportunities. Being stuck is the equivalent of being depressed.
Now, just to be clear, it's a very normal feeling. But too many people deal with trapped people by telling them that the future will be fine, that you're just being impatient, that you should just let it go and good things will happen to you.

I believe this is the wrong approach. If one your employees, friends or loved ones feel stuck, we need to communicate with them. We need to understand why they are feeling trapped. Once you understand that, you should take this opportunity to develop an action plan. Action is the only thing that counts.

If you do not act, if you leave them with some rationalizing thoughts, they will project their feelings onto you.

You feel trapped when you're in line at Best Buy waiting for customer service, and nobody even acknowledges you as a potential customer. Is it so hard to say: "I'll be right with you" or offer a bottle of water?

We can go from stuck to unstuck in numerous ways. Communication, and action are part of the solution. So take a deep breath, acknowledge the situation, and listen. Your brand, friend, employee will never forget you did.

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