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When You Are Under Attack…

Sometimes, people really are trying to make things personal. In my book The Elegant Pivot, An Inspired Move for Navigating Corporate Politics, the most challenging character I describe is Fighting Francis. As much as we wish it weren't so, the FF's in the world really are out to get us. There may be no better gift to our personal growth and self-awareness than a Fighting Francis. Yes, I just called someone who is attacking you a gift. While it's perfectly normal to wish the attackers would go away, back down or maybe fall down a flight of stairs, we have the option to choose to see them differently. In fact, our attackers can benefit us in several ways. There's a huge difference between truly BEING attacked and FEELING attacked. When we get that first signal that something is off, our survival mode dictates that we assume the worst. It's natural to assume that someone might be trying to undermine us, make us look bad to the boss or take the credit for our work. Learning to quickly pivot from assuming the worst to checking things out offers the first gift of an attack. It's an opportunity to practice. Every time I pivot, I get a little better at seeing things more clearly. I'm less defensive and less apt to take actions I will later regret. Perhaps the most "fun" gift of an attack is the window it offers us into the attacker's world. Just like seeing into a house where ...
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