The Pause

Question:

How can I learn to pause if I get stuck in a victim cycle of negativity and harmful behavior?

Process:

Once we are in hurtful, back and forth interactions that violate our values, that is, a victim cycle, we can get stuck, respond in kind and make things worse. Therefore, it is important to take the lead in preventing harm. That means that you, as a values-based leader, need to prepare in advance for future situations when you may get drawn into a victim cycle.

One of the most effective ways to do this is to make a commitment to yourself to PAUSE if you find yourself in a victim cycle. The challenge is that when we are drawn into victim cycles, we are in pain because our values have been violated. That then leads us to naturally react with fight or flight behavior (blaming or avoiding) or our pain leads us to do other victim behaviors that perpetuate the victim cycle. To prevent this kind of rather natural, though destructive, reaction, advanced preparation can lead us to PAUSE so we can choose how to respond.

No longer behaving robotically, when we PAUSE we can think; we can leave the situation to plan how to respond as a leader; and we can, most of all, stop the destructive cycle right then and there.

What to do:

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