For more information about getting support in strengthening your practice, see Adaptive Sprints.
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She and I began by exploring her thoughts and feelings. She felt pressured by a short timeline and exasperated that her well-prepared arguments had failed. Then I asked how her actions might be contributing to the medical director’s resistance. No matter how excellent we are as leaders, we all react to stress in ways which contribute in some way to problems. Our own behavior is at least one thing over which we have control. She believed her persistence in pushing her ideas was likely provocative for the medical director.
Just realizing our contribution to problems may enable us to see new strategies. More often, as with this leader, we need to contrast our current approaches with our ideal (our vision and goals) for the type of relationships we want to create. With help, this leader rediscovered her deep commitment to assuring that people feel their concerns are heard. She was amazed she had forgotten this in the situation. But, it is astonishingly easy to lose hold of our vision and goals under stress no matter how often we revisit them.
She then knew what to do. Instead of pushing arguments, she asked the medical director questions to find out what was important to him and to address his concerns. Over three meetings, he got behind the change.
Of many approaches for enabling the right start with relational problems, we used two of the most powerful: first, identifying our own counterproductive patterns and second, revisiting our vision and goals for relationships. The tension that arises in contrasting our current behaviors versus the ideal evokes creativity.
Human affairs are so dynamic and unpredictable that starting off on the wrong foot at times is inevitable. Enabling the right start requires life-long practice. This is hard to sustain in daily work. To address this, I am offering a new four week format of four one-to-one meetings with me by video webinar. See the link above for more information.
I hope this article leads you to more compassion for your bad starts with relational problems and enables right starts more often.