February 23, 2018

Are you associated with the problem?

Business People in a Board meetingI don’t mean are you causing the problem: I mean are you engaged with it; or engaged with the people who are dealing with it?

If not, you probably won’t have much impact.

If you’re dissociated from the problem or the people, chances are you won’t be able to influence what happens, however insightful your thinking is.

To be able to influence, we need to be in relationship with the people who are involved; to be connected. We probably need to be engaged with the problem itself too.

Can we be both engaged in the system and able to stand back and maintain perspective, if not simultaneously, then at least sequentially?

Do you have a method for doing that?

Are you associated or disassociated with the problems you care about? It does make a difference.

Do we really see what’s in front of us?

Do we really see what's in front of us?…or hear what’s said in our presence?

Particularly when we’re challenged by a situation, it seems we focus quite a bit on our thinking about the problem. That seems natural.

And yet…

It tends to mean we stop paying full attention to the information in front of us. We start filtering for those pieces that connect one way or another with what’s inside our heads.

And so we miss important facts and implications.

You can see this with children if you ask them a challenging question they can’t immediately answer and then gradually offer them new information. It’s surprising just how they sometimes miss the apparently obvious significance of new facts.

Perhaps as adults we don’t do that.

Or perhaps we do.