Lately I had a navigation session with a Michael a senior division president in a large company. When I met him he was with low energy and seemed depressed. During our conversation the reasons became clear. Michael runs a division that sells type of products that allow smaller profit then the products in other divisions. He feels under a lot of pressure to increase the turnover dramatically to compensate for the low margins of his products. The pressure comes from the CEO the Board and his peers. He also heard that if this dramatic leap will not occur, the company might sell off this division.
This understandably put him in a lot of stress. He hardly sleeps for few weeks now. He is very concerned. Some overall physical checkups show some deterioration in his condition and so on.
So we talked about fear. We found out that his fear is that he will lose his job and will have to look for new one at his quite advanced age. Then we discussed how he handled this fear. Quite quickly we realized that fear was handling him. So I described to Michael the different levels of how people handle fear.
The first level is that they become paralyzed, small and protective. He agreed with me that this is what happened to him. As a result everyone around him saw his behavior as weakness and that really made the situation worse. Michael agreed with this and said that he hates to be in such a situation. We then explored further how to handle fear and the second level is minimizing risks. This is a survival approach that tries to come out of the situation with minimal wounds and casualties. Michael did not like this approach either. So we went to the two upper levels of handling fear. The third level is to manage the fear as if you manage a project. Take a rational approach, plan the strategy and the tactical steps, find the time and resources and just do it. But that alone is not enough; a person needs to find in themselves the inner resources to mange this difficulty well, Such as courage, belief, perseverance, tenacity and more, which is the fourth level of handling fear. We searched if Michael could access some of his inner strengths in that domain and he could.
So now he had the energy and the inner sources to manage well the fear as a project. When I left him that day he looked straight, resolute with an abundant energy and hope.
This was a great meeting.
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