RSS Winning is a Mental Asset

When I was in elementary school, my father encouraged my younger brother and me to join a wrestling club. I have two memories from this experience: First, I remember wrestling boys bigger than me as they paired us by age, not size or weight; and second, I remember a match against someone whose reputation was that of a bully. He was about my size but wore a permanent scowl and entered the arena strutting like he couldn’t lose. Guess what? I won the match by pinning him to the mat.

My wresting prowess aside, I share this story to illustrate the importance of maintaining a winning attitude. In the workplace, we are occasionally confronted by individuals who have a manner about them that is off-putting. It could be a naturally brusque person or someone with a strong sense of personal entitlement. The point I want to make is that we can all achieve personal triumphs when dealing with difficult people and it’s not by pinning them to the mat!

As leaders, managers and supervisors, we can choose to deal with difficult employees in two ways: negatively or positively. We can beat them down to the point that they are no longer a productive employee. Or, we can build them up by offering a specific work plan that maximizes their chances of success. If they continue to be difficult, then there are appropriate consequences. The difference between the two approaches is a matter of the leader’s mind-set.

Alternatively, consider the leader that is difficult to work with. How do you handle it? You could certainly confront your boss; you could attempt to coach “up,” or you could simply go about your business with a chip on your shoulder. Another option may be to go to their supervisor, if they have one. A last option may be to look for another job, assuming your skills and aptitudes are transferrable.

Herein is the point I want to make: a winning mind-set is one that allows you to win. Don’t get frustrated by an ineffective leader or difficult employee; rather, take advantage of opportunities to enhance your skills. It is a matter of confidence; the confidence of doing the right thing, for you. Whether you are in a leadership position or learning how to become a leader, confidence is a mental asset and it is a prerequisite for success.

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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