Leadership in Tense Relationship Moments, pt. I

Katherine got into the car, and immediately felt Steve’s lousy mood suck all the air out of it.

“Oh no,” she thought.

She knew Steve wasn’t thrilled about going to visit her brother’s family. It was a chilly winter Sunday. He wanted to lounge about, watch the games, and stay put. But she expressed it was important to her and he had agreed to go.

Does he always have to punish me with his mood? she wondered, agitatedly.

She was about to get snarky in reaction to his silent hostility, but then she remembered a question she’d adopted in the training we were doing:

Do we dance the same dance, or can I try a new step?

After all, this was their dance: Steve gets in a mood, Katherine reacts and they go spiraling down, down into a dark place that somehow lands them in a fight about what happened three Christmases ago.

By asking the question internally, Katherine was bringing a form of leadership to her relationship.

Katherine wanted to have a decent day with Steve and her family. How was Katherine going to change the steps?

She contemplated what role she wanted to play. Usually, she felt victimized by Steve’s moods, and this would cause her to slip into “The Bitch.”

Who do I want to be instead? she mused.  The answer: I want to be powerful, content woman, in this relationship and with my family today.

In that moment, Katherine thought about powerful, seemingly content women she knew. The first woman that came up, which surprised her, was Oprah. She went with it. And she realized, Oprah would not spend any time in the car with a sulking man if she didn’t have to. And she certainly wouldn’t babysit him.

What did Katherine do next ?

Tune in for tomorrow’s blog post to see.  . . .

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8 responses to “Leadership in Tense Relationship Moments, pt. I”

  1. Samantha says:

    No, I don’t think Oprah would either! lol

    Great fun post Blair! Looking forward to the next episode into this ‘drama’ that I’m sure many of us have been in at least ONCE in our lives! : )

  2. You are on a roll with these posts on changing things by changing our own behavior Blair. Love the moment where she says to herself .. can I try a new step?

    Powerful, insightful, and … it works!



    • Blair Glaser says:

      Thanks so much for your support. It does work!
      Leadership skills, like asking the right questions, and choosing the roles we want to play, are simple and powerful ways to shift default patterns that don’t work.
      Thanks again for your comment, Kate.

  3. Sticky.

    She is in control of her actions & her attitude & her voice. What will she do with those? Dun dun dun….

  4. Very nice post, Blair.

    It is always fascinating how new thoughts get you in a different direction and have an instant impact about your emotions.

    I will see her solution and find out if it corresponds with my most possible reaction.
    Have a great day

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