Don’t Get Owned

I was talking to another leader about a situation she recently encountered with a teammate. In short, the teammate was being difficult and rude to the leader, and the leader, in turn, got upset. The encounter messed up her entire day. She was frustrated and unsure of how to deal with it. As she told me about how she felt and reacted following the encounter, I told her, “You just got owned.”

How do we get owned? We allow…

  • …someone else’s actions to get under our skin.
  • …someone to anger or upset us.
  • …our day to be negatively affected (which also negatively affects our teammates).
  • …their actions or words to alter the way we act or think, behaving in a way we
    probably shouldn’t.
  • …ourselves to unnecessarily be pulled into the conflict.

Of course, we can’t simply avoid negative conflict or upsetting interactions altogether, but we can control how we react to those situations. We can prevent the other person from owning us. The next time you feel your emotions swelling or your anger rising with a colleague or customer who – intentionally or not – is about to get the best of you:

  • Be patient.
  • If you’re unsure of their motives, assume innocence. They may have no idea they’re
    upsetting you.
  • Make up your mind that you’re not going to let this person own you.
  • Do what you need to do to remain calm – Listen, but don’t react. Don’t engage in
    the bickering.
  • Circle back with the individual only after you’ve processed your thoughts and can respond with a level head.

Remember, only you control your thoughts and reactions. Be the owner of your own emotions.


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  • Diane Brown says:

    Good advice and TIMELY! It is all about our attitude which we ARE in control of no matter what.

    • Linda Sasser says:

      Yes we are! 🙂 It takes discipline doesn’t it? It helps me to find things that motivate me to make sure I am in the right attitude. Things like 1) how do my teammates need to see me? 2) How would i like them to behave 3) If my attitude is repeating is that a good thing? 4) What story will be told about my attitude when I leave? and 5) attitude is the cover of my character.

      Thanks for following Diane!!