Have You Ever Experienced Slopey Shoulder Syndrome?

By Paul Farmer
on 8 July 2018

Paul Farmer, founder of the Mentoris Group, talks about the importance of owning your reaction.

I wasn’t involved in the decision to go ahead with that project and YOUR team messed it up and now that’s impacting my team’s work… that’s not my responsibility so what are you going to do about it?”

Have you ever experienced Slopey Shoulder Syndrome?

Having recently stepped out of the corporate scene after more than 20 years, I’ve developed a new perspective on the behaviours this environment promotes. Responsibility and ownership in the good times, when things are going well and we are getting great results, can seem easy. However, when things become challenging and the results are less than stellar, ownership and responsibility can often be delegated too easily.

Let’s be honest…. things are going to happen that you have no control over. You are driving to work along the freeway and an idiot cuts across right in front of you at 80km/hr forcing you to slam on the brakes. Did you have any control over what that idiot was doing – most would say no. Jack Canfield, in Chicken Soup for the Soul, suggested a simple formula could be applied to help combat this. Event + Reaction = Outcome

An EVENT just happened.

Now if you want to get to work safely, the OUTCOME you set for yourself, you need to own your REACTION. Don’t use the brakes and you will have ended up with a very different outcome.

So how do we own our REACTIONS:

  • Control – do I have control over the event? Generally no, yet we spend most of our time on things that we can’t control (i.e. other’s actions, the way others feel about us, why others do what they do). Move on from trying to control a situation you can’t control.
  • Focus – do we spend all our time wondering why something happened or do we acknowledge it’s happened and get on with what we need to do so we can still get the results we want?
  • Show Leadership – in times of challenge, leaders assess their options and take action to get results. We are all leaders regardless of our position in the organisation, we can be that leader who steps up and takes responsibility to maintain momentum.
  • Quickly Reassess your Outcomes – are you still aiming for the same goals as before or have the goalposts been shifted? Reconfirming where you are heading will allow you to get on with chasing those outcomes.

Have You Ever Experienced Slopey Shoulder Syndrome? Paul Farmer from the Mentoris Group talks the importance of owning your reaction.

So when something happens, whether it be in the workplace or outside the office, think about how you can still get the outcome you want by owning your reaction to what’s happened. It has already happened, so how do I now react to get a great outcome…

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