The real-life Interactor
I wish I could be an Interactor all the time! In fact, I guess I’ve been wanting that for so long (I’ve been with Workplace Interactors since its inception nearly 14 years ago) that it has started seeping into my daily life. I had a great experience with my friend “Cassie” that used my Interactor training.
Cassie’s normally pretty calm, but this day she was rattled when she called me. She had a friendship with “Barbara” that needed to be ended. Things had never gone right between her and Barbara, but Barbara didn’t seem to mind. I was pretty surprised they ever hung out at all, because I know Barbara fairly well too. She has a strong and somewhat difficult personality. Cassie was stressed about how this next conversation with Barbara might go. I asked her, “Would you like to practice it?”
“What?” Cassie asked.
“Your conversation with her. You know that’s what I do, right?”
“Oh, man. That makes me nervous…” she said.
“You’re already nervous, so who cares? It can’t hurt,” I coaxed.
“I guess,” Cassie relented.
We had already discussed what she wanted to say, and I told her how I had learned that making “I” statements really helps. “Make sure you don’t accuse her, just tell her how you feel and what you need.”
“OK…I’ll do it!” Cassie said excitedly.
So we practiced the situation, and as I began to really commit to Barbara’s personality, I pushed Cassie’s buttons. That was when the conversation turned tense and then ended.
“How do you think that went?” I asked.
“It started OK, but then, I don’t know. It went pretty much the same as it always goes between us…man, you’re really good at that.”
“Thanks,” I chuckled. “Do you realize that you did exactly what you said you wouldn’t do when I pushed your buttons?”
“Wha- wait, no…yes, I did didn’t I!” Cassie said.
And the light bulb came on, just like in Workplace trainings time after time! What a joy to truly impact people’s lives where they may need it the most—in the difficult conversations of life.
My friend lost all anxiety about the situation, and the relationship with Barbara is all cleared up!
I can think of so many applications for Workplace Interactor training (counseling and mock interviews, to name a few) and I hope we get the opportunity to help people in many different venues in many different situations.