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The Story of Alison, Max, and Dave- Part One

Welcome back! As promised, this week's blog will go more in-depth about the BEW approach. To better explain what we do, I want to introduce you to Alison, Max, and Dave.

Alison, Max, and Dave are three coworkers at a digital marketing agency. Their team had been working for months to close a deal with a new client; however, the pitch did not go as planned. Not only did the client decide to go with a different agency, but this was the second big account the team failed to sign in the past few months. After the meeting, Alison returned to her desk and was feeling so angry that she began writing a heated e-mail to her team members admonishing them for what she thought they did wrong. Max felt anxious about how this meeting could affect his job, so he began updating his resume and spent the rest of the day cruising LinkedIn for new jobs. Dave felt so ashamed about his performance that he left the office for the day and went home to binge watch Game of Thrones (don't worry, no spoilers ahead).

The BEW approach is not able to change what happened in that meeting (although that would be awesome, wouldn’t it?); however, what BEW can do is to help Alison, Max, and Dave recognize how their reactions following the failed pitch were not particularly helpful or productive. Each person was so distressed that no one actually addressed the problem at-hand….that they lost a potential client, again!

Patterns of responding can become habitual and many of us are very uncomfortable with change. Change is challenging! Even if we know that our behaviors or reactions are not helping us to reach our goals, the thought of changing our behaviors or reactions can seem daunting. Often, we’d rather deal with the consequences of our current reactions, rather than tackle the process of change. Providing Alison, Max, and Dave with a new framework for handling their work stress can help to make change seem less challenging, improve their performance in pitch meetings, and help them to handle their frustration and disappointment at work more effectively in the future.

This intersection of understanding and implementation is where the BEW approach comes into play. The first step is helping Alison, Max, and Dave to recognize what responses are not working for them, to avoid making the same mistakes in the future, and to develop a more productive team dynamic. Specifically, we want to help Alison recognize that her anger was causing her to impulsively send aggressive e-mails to her coworkers, Max to understand that his anxiety was leading him to assume the worst and not even try to fix the situation, and Dave to recognize that his shame led him to avoid work altogether.

How do we help Alison, Max, and Dave solve the problem rather than exacerbate it, freak out, or avoid it completely? Stay tuned next week for blog #3, which explores in more detail how the BEW approach can help Alison, Max, and Dave, as well as how these skills can be incorporated into your professional and personal life.

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