Monday, September 14, 2015

Wholeness Through Difficulty

I remember walking into a lunchroom to talk with my boss and some peers. After I brought them up to date on a situation, I admitted, "I made a mistake. I failed to recognize the potential problem." My boss replied, "Never admit you caused a problem."

"Why not? I created the problem. I also fixed it, but I don't think it's an issue to say, 'I was wrong.'"

Here's a quote from Dr. Brene Brown's latest book: "The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness--even our wholeheartedness--actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls." [emphasis mine] Earlier Bill Hybels at a leadership summit mentioned several instances where organizational leaders repeated mistakes because they failed to recognize how early experiences were shaping their decision-making. Brown suggest we reckon, rumble and revolt.

  • Reckoning: recognizing that 'something' triggered you. Be okay with the discomfort or the euphoria. Be self-aware of what's happening within you. I recall several meetings where I couldn't go along with a certain decision. I couldn't say 'why' but I admitted that it didn't sit well with me. I would promise to articulate my objection soon.
  • Rumbling: tangle, wrestle with the emotion. What is it about the situation that provokes the emotion? Is it similar to other experiences in some way? Seek to love (yourself) in truth and deed.
  • Revolution: create a new habit of response. This is where 90% of us fail. We might recognize the trigger, even know its source but we are quite comfortable with our response even if we don't like the results.
A lot of issues can be effectively resolved if the leaders are approachable. Otherwise, they fester. In order to be approachable, you have to be vulnerable...whole...competent but real...having a heart that can be broken.

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