My coach always told me he would rather individuals were either hot or cold towards him, not lukewarm. You cannot do much with lukewarm feedback, but you can use difficulty and opposition to benefit. Some weeks the very same topic keeps coming up in a number of various training sessions. Last week it was leaders finding ways to satisfy opposition from a colleague.
Many people get into trouble by failing to fulfill what the individual is in fact bringing to them. Instead they stay clear of the person’s energy by attempting to calm, fix or repair it. Typically, that just makes things worse. What works for me is to recognize the emotion the individual is experiencing, see where the challenge is originating from, and meet them there.
Most of us are reluctant to fulfill people with a strong pushback. As leaders or professionals, we should be ware with the power differential that come from our position and, if the individual is coming from discomfort, reduced esteem or self-protection, coming on strong will not work. There are various means to satisfy each of those three types artistically, which we might touch on in future postings.
The coaching in these current sessions, however, had to do with meeting individuals who were bringing their challenge in a feisty, aggressive way. It is simple enough to acknowledge when opposition is originating from this kind of energy