I’m just back from a GTO (Gestalt Therapy Training) weekend.
I don’t want to write too much detail on what happens there, as that is private to the group.
Although we don’t learn techniques in the GTO, on thing that happened gave me an idea.
The way we deal with being angry is, is based on a script we wrote ourselves when we where kids and how we were allowed (or not) to deal with that.
The Check in protocol can help with that. Saying that you are mad, glad, sad or afraid. Checking out when being mad is as powerful.
With my kids I learn them that being mad is OK.
It’s not OK to hit me, themselves or someone else when being mad. Neither is doing anything stupid (like destroying something…)
So when my 3 year and 5 year old kids get mad and hit me, or spit at me or something similar I ask them to checkout or I put them in time-out.
Today I saw a very powerful reaction of our trainer to a person being mad at her.
It’s ok to be mad at me.
I don’t promise I will change my behavior. But when I do this action again, you are allowed to be mad, and every time this happens I will give you the time to deal with it.
In this case the person was given a pillow she could hit on. And believe me it helped.
It made me realize I allow my kids to be mad but I don’t give them a tool to work out their frustration, their emotion and their energy.
It’s not yet clear to me how we will do this. It is clear I want to do something with that idea.
I loved the fact that the trainer said, “it’s ok to be mad at me. I will do the same thing. And it is OK to be mad at me for that.” I noticed that this surprised a few people. I don’t see many managers saying this. For me this is one of the qualities of a good leader. (Or parent).
It was also very clear that when you deal with this kind of situation badly as parent/manager, you can damage your kids/employees a lot.
The core protocols are a great way to deal with emotions at work.
Update: it works great with my kids. They understand that being angry is OK. They start to understand that it is nt Ok to work it out on other people. And they start taking a pillow to hit our seat.