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Posted: Tuesday, Feb 11th, 2014

Here’s a fun little demonstration for your next meeting or party. Grab a volunteer and stand in front of the group about two feet apart, facing each other. Raise your right hand as if you were about to take an oath. Ask the volunteer to raise her left hand. Place your palms gently together. Without saying another word, slowly start pushing your hand as if you are going to push her over. I bet she pushes you back.

That’s it. Now, ask the rest of the group what just happened. They’ll probably respond that you were pushing, and she was pushing back. Ask the volunteer why she was pushing back when she wasn’t instructed to. She might say she wasn’t going to let you push her over, or maybe she didn’t want you to fall over.

We have a need for balance in life. What happens when we’re pushed? We tend to push back. What happens when the push is more mental, less physical? We still tend to push back. Misunderstandings, arguments, fights, and wars start with a push.

Sometimes, though, it’s just a perceived push. In our rush to judge, what if we perceive wrong? Then we become the pusher, instead of the pushed. How do you respond:

• When someone frowns in your direction;

• When someone looks right through you;

• When someone in a passing car almost cuts you off;

• When someone gives you a weird compliment;

• When someone doesn’t respond to your greeting.

 Take a minute and think it through before you implement an automatic “equal and opposite reaction.”

Chris Waugh is a business consultant who focuses on management and professional development. Visit ChrisWaugh.com or Facebook.com/ChrisWaughOnTheFly for more information.

For the complete article see the 02-12-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-12-2014 paper.

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