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Imposing Your Solution vs. Living Into The Answer

Republished here with permission from Next Element USASEPTEMBER 19, 2018 BY NATE REGIER IN COMPASSIONATE ACCOUNTABILITYLEADERSHIPLEADERSHIP COACHINGLEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENTLOD /  

Recently I was conducting a Leading Out of Drama Provider Certification and we were reviewing one of the Choices To Move, “Let Go and Move On,” a skill for practicing Compassionate Accountability and moving from Resourcefulness to Persistence on the Compassion Cycle. A participant was explaining the concept in his own words and shared this;

Those who can’t let go and move on often choose to teach others instead.

He didn’t mean it as an indictment of educators, but his comment underscored a powerful dynamic of drama, the urge to give unsolicited advice to make others better instead of focusing on our own decisions and consequences.

Highly resourceful people:

  • Are great problem-solvers.

  • Are often promoted to leadership positions.

  • Are skilled at spotting danger and opportunity and figuring out what to do next.

  • Often feel an urge to protect others from bad things.

  • Often struggle to decide among options because they don’t want to face the loss of what could have been or the fear of what could happen if they choose wrong.

The decision to let go and move on is an act of personal responsibility. It involves accepting that we can’t control the future or know everything. It asks that we accept the consequences of our choices. Making a decision and living into the answer certainly requires courage, humility, and faith.

Avoiding a healthy choice is still a choice

Sometimes we shy away from the choice to let go and move on. We feel afraid and don’t want to face the unknown. We don’t want to accept the consequences of our choices or the fact that we cannot control or know the future.

Not letting go and moving on often results in the defense mechanism of Rescuing. Rescuing happens when we turn our focus away from our own responsibility and project it onto others. Instead of living into our own choices, we try to make choices for others. We problem-solve everyone else’s lives instead of our own. We teach others instead of being a curious learner ourselves.

We become, as described by this same LOD provider certification candidate, “a solution in search of a problem.”

Are you a solution in search of a problem?

Imposing solutions instead of living into the answer

Rescuers impose their solutions on others instead of courageously and humbly living into their own solutions, and allowing others to do the same. They adopt the belief, “I’m OK, you would be OK if you let me fix you and appreciate me for it.” They may have good intentions of trying to protect others from bad things, or trying to make them better. The attitude they carry and the way they go about it, however, sends the message that others are not capable to make their own decisions and find their own solutions.

How to stop rescuing and own your choice to let go and move on

  • Remind yourself that you are smart and capable, and others can be too if you let them.

  • You can be most helpful when others ask you for help first.

  • Authentically face the fear of the unknown. It’s OK to be afraid.

  • Accept that you cannot control the future, or ultimately protect others from danger.

  • Focus on being a resource for others, and living up to your own values.

  • Avoid pushing resources on others and expecting them to live up to your values.

  • You are OK and so are others, regardless of whether they accept your solutions.

Great leaders master the art of letting go and moving on, being responsible for their own choices and struggling with others to enhance capability. What choice will you make today?

Copyright Next Element Consulting 2018


Corinne McDevitt