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Luke Skywalker: “How am I to know the good side from the bad?”
Yoda: “You will know when you are calm. At peace, passive.”
When you arrive at work, are you entering an environment fueled by the Dark Side or the Light Side?
Just like in Star Wars, there are Darth Vaders running amok in many workplaces. But that doesn’t mean you have submit to the Dark Side of the Force.
Here are five ways to keep your Jedi calm in a not-so-Jedi world:
1. Thrive Versus Just Survive: The Dark Side is about survival at any cost. The true cost can include burn out, not seeing your blind spots, having a disengaged team and not staying true to your vision. Even if you reach the top, you won’t stay there for very long—focus on thriving.
2. Be Strong Versus Aggressive: A true leader leads through trust. Aggressive tactics, such as leading through fear, passive-aggressive feedback and “drive by delegation” only create confusion and resentment. You may see short term results, but sustained greatness from your team will continue to evade you. True Strength comes from trust.
3. To Create Peace, Clear Conflict: Peace is achieved through effective communication, clarity of your vision and by telling the truth. Conflict occurs when the team doesn’t understand what is expected of them. They can’t strive for the bar because the bar keeps moving or isn’t set within the capability of realistic expectations. All too often, teams remain in a state of conflict because their leader is not at peace. Remember, the team is a direct reflection of the individual leading them.
4. Be Compassionate Versus Indifferent: Jedi’s are compassionate and the Jedi Council works towards a common mission with a common purpose. Your team needs to do the same. Does your team know the company’s mission, vision and values? Combining a true understanding of mission, vision, values with accountability will set your team up for success. The result? An engaged team as opposed to a team that is disengaged and indifferent. If your team knows that you are committed to their success, they will be committed to the company’s success.
5. Be Positive Versus Negative: Are you rewarding and acknowledging team members? There is great power in a verbal or written ‘well done.’ Jedis focus on the positive, but they don’t ignore the negative. Jedis reframe the negative so that young Padawans don’t become angry. In teams, we call this Critter State. Use our powerful feedback frame if goals are not being achieved and to get your team back on track – emphasize what is working, and what you would like to see more of.
To remain Jedi calm, you must embrace your hidden strengths, happiness, and joy. Your power is staying calm and remaining constant and tranquil while focusing on honesty, compassion and wisdom. You may even convert a few team members to the light side!
From the wise words of many sage Star Wars fans, the Dark Side is a roaring fire, while the Light Side is a flowing river. Be the river.