You Likely Provoke Others, From Time to Time, Right?

I imagine we all do! However, we aren’t necessarily aware of how we do so until it’s too late. Though we are generally aware of the “hot buttons” for our family members and friends and those we come to know well (such as colleagues and co-workers) we sometimes don’t know the range of things that provoke them. New friends, colleagues and others start with a clean slate and we sometimes learn their “hot buttons” too late.

When we are provoked by something others say or do, or even what they don’t say or do, many of us let the person know directly. Others of us do so indirectly showing signs of being disgruntled without really saying what is happening. Similarly, when we provoke others, they let us know in their individual ways. In either case, lots of times the signs are so indirect we and others miss them altogether.

When we want to strengthen a relationship that is disrupted by a conflict and possibly, engage in productive conflict conversations, or to show up in ways that welcome and invite dialogue of differences, it helps to consider what we do that irritates others. Here are some questions in this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog that may work to heighten awareness about this topic.

  • What are 2 of your ‘hot buttons’ – the actions or words that others do that commonly provoke you?
  • What values or needs do you experience are being undermined when people provoke you in each of these ways?
  • In what ways, that you can think of, have you irritated another person in the same or similar ways?
  • What other ways do you know you seem to provoke others?
  • What values and needs might they experience as being undermined at these times?
  • Considering a dispute you were in recently, what specific ‘hot button’ for the other person did you push? What lead you to push that button do you think?
  • What was the impact on the other person? Why do you suppose the person assumed your reasons were for what you said or did?
  • What part or parts of what they may have attributed to you is correct?
  • What happens to you when you become aware you irritate others?
  • If you decide to make some changes in an effort to not push others’ hot buttons, how do you prefer to be and be perceived?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?
author

Cinnie Noble

Cinnie Noble is a certified coach (PCC) and mediator and a former lawyer specializing in conflict management coaching. She is the author of two coaching books: Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY™ Model and Conflict Mastery: Questions to Guide You. MORE

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