Berger Leadership Blog

Aug 05, 2022

How to overcome defense mechanisms

Defense mechanisms, or rather, our own personal, subconscious reactions to out-of-the ordinary situations, come with the territory of being human. As leaders, it’s our duty to not only recognize these defense mechanisms as reactions, but we also need to think about how we can improve them.

In a recent Lolly Daskal article, she reiterates that every individual develops their own defense mechanisms to certain situations, and there are ways to transform these responses into helpful tools, rather than obstacles.

Daskal shares her top ideas for overcoming one’s own defense mechanisms, including:

  • make room for acceptance by giving yourself a momentary break before responding to a situation rashly;
  • hold yourself accountable and remind yourself that you can’t control anyone’s actions or responses but your own;
  • break the code by learning to recognize unhealthy subconscious patterns and rewire new, more useful patterns and habits; and
  • Lead from within by reassessing your own behavior and making the changes necessary to become the leader you have always wanted to be.

Everyone has their own defense mechanisms based on our own life experiences. By identifying and acknowledging how we tend to react to various situations, we will be able to change these patterns to create the most productive version of ourselves both in and out of the workplace.

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