Step Up to Your Adversary!

By Morag Barrett on February 16, 2016

Posted by Morag Barrett | February 16, 2016Step Up to Your Adversary!Last week I shared the definition of an Adversary relationship. This week we’ll start to look at how you can step up to that relationship and start to effect change.There is no doubt that having an Adversary will sap your energy for work. It’s both mentally and physically exhausting to be on heightened alert to sabotage. There is science behind the emotions that are evoked, and while we can’t prevent them, we can learn to mitigate them.Step Up to the RelationshipInstead of avoiding your Adversary, or reacting to their comments, acknowledge what has been said in a positive way“I appreciate your passion and insight..”“Your input and perspective has helped the team…”“Let me think on that and get back to you.”By demonstrating ‘abundance & generosity’ the first cornerstone of an Ally Mindset you show yourself in a positive light to others in the meeting. It will also diffuse the impact of the gossip or comments behind your back.Say “Thank You”This may seem counterintuitive but if your Adversary provides cutting feedback try not to react to it. Simply say “thank you, I appreciate your feedback.” Especially when you receive feedback that you disagree with it is far better to acknowledge it rather than trying to argue or dispute it.Rally your AlliesInstead of trying to tackle an Adversary head on, you may be better advised to focus on your Allies and Supporters. If you can strengthen your Supporter relationships and leverage your Allies then peer pressure may help to effect change in the quality of the relationship you have with your Adversary.Rallying your Allies doesn’t mean trash-talking your Adversaries. This can too easily be seen as resorting to their level and runs the risk of your intent being misinterpreted as retaliation or adversarial behavior on your part. Instead observe others who have a better relationship with the person (if that is possible). What is it that they do (or don’t do) that you can emulate.If an Ally does have a stronger relationship with your Adversary you can ask for coaching / advice on how you can better approach the person.How do you respond to Adversary behavior?How might you need to adjust your approach so as not to be perceived as an Adversary by others? Related ArticlesDo you have an Adversary?It pays to know the enemy—not least because at some time you may have the opportunity to turn him into a friend.  - Margaret Thatcher Adversaries are by far the most troublesome and stress-inducing of the four relationship dynamics I explore in my book Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships. It's…June 28, 2016In "Cultivating Winning Relationships"3 Steps to build Quality Relationships at WorkI developed The Relationship EcosystemTM  in response to comments and frustrations I heard from leaders regarding the quality (or lack thereof) of their relationships with their colleagues. This is a language that enables individuals to discuss how they work together and take appropriate action to improve the quality of those…March 28, 2017In "Cultivate@Work"Cultivate@Work: How to move an Adversary to an AllyWelcome to the Cultivate@Work Weekly Roundup. We scour the Internet for stories and ideas of how people cultivate winning relationships at work and share them in this weekly summary. It’s perfect for anyone interested in applying the ideas and techniques from Cultivate. The Power of Winning Relationships by SkyeTeam CEO…April 7, 2016In "Cultivate@Work"Tags »Cultivating Winning Relationshipsleadership development denver Share
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