Do you agree that we live and work in complex systems? These systems include our organizations, our teams, our families, our communities, and our larger society.
How we proceed in those systems, and how those systems operate, can have a huge impact on our ability to achieve our goals.
How do we proceed in our systems? Who are we and what role do we choose?
Steve Wolinski, psychologist and coach, reminds us that system is a whole made up of interdependent, interacting parts. Changes in one of the parts create changes in one or more of the others. All of the parts are interconnected. Examples of systems include: You as a human being, the system that consists of you and your clients interacting, the client’s organization and marketplace, and/or all of the above taken together.
Today I would like to share with you some ideas and outcome from the amazing workshop where I participated last week. All related to our complex systems.
During this workshop we had a chance to see how connected we are with our systems.
Who are we while we communicate? What is our position in every relationship? Do we set our rules and build together the solid base for open communication? Do we respect our personal space? Do we tend to control the other?
One of the activities that I liked was about how do we integrate within our systems. Imagine you have a partner who will participate with you in this activity, and you are given a rope. You need to identify the distance between you and your partner. We were about 20 people and everyone’s distance was soooo different.
First of all, do you decide the distance between you and your partner? Or do you let others decide for you?
The activity consisted in building a huge net with different ropes that we have been given between all of the participants.
It’s not about the game itself, it’s about understanding how do we play. Myself I chose quite a long rope, so I had a huge distance between myself and my partner. And then I realized, that this represents how I choose to be in my systems, I need my space and long rope allows me to discover new things, it allows me to move on my own. What happens if you stay “on a short rope”? How much freedom does it offer you? Some participants realized that whenever they go they would drag their partner, because the rope is too short.
What about you? How long is “the rope” in your systems? How do you feel about it? And do you express yourself and make others aware about your needs?
Another interesting outcome from the workshop:
How can we change our current system?
First thing is to realize what our current position is and where we are. I will share the example that moderator of the workshop gave us.
” I am a basketball coach and I have a problem with one of my player. Imagine if my current position in this situation as a coach is: “Oh, again I need to repeat this to my player, every time it’s the same story with him, why he should be so difficult in doing what I ask him to do, etc. etc.”
– what do you perceive out of this attitude?
– what is the current approach of a coach?
You can imagine the tone of voice, the look and the presence that this coach will adapt once he will approach his player… Most probably this negative approach will not lead anywhere.
NOW, how can we change this approach?
By awakening our ESSENCE.
In this case basketball coach can ask himself: “What does basketball mean to me?”
Here you have it.
In essence what does he want to achieve together with his player? Most probably basketball is his passion and he is helping his team to achieve better results – this is what drives him most. And he is there to add value, to make positive change happen.
– what do you see in this approach?
– what is possible out of this position?
In every difficult or conflict situation – go back to your essence. What does this mean to you?
Out of our essence the communication is completely different. Once we connect with what is important for us, our entire system and the usual way of looking to situations and interacting with people changes.
Imagine you are working with different client’s portfolios in a multinational environment, and some of those clients are really nasty and everything seem to be just wrong with them – constant complaints, unhappy with services, etc.
Our usual approach would be: “oh they are so hard and impolite, its just impossible to work with them, etc. etc.”
Our new approach can be: “What does this job mean to me?” (How important this is for you and how involved you choose to be?). “How can I contribute and help in this particular situation?”
Now its your turn to practice! Think about your current systems and life situations where you choose the same patron of response – is it negative, attacking, excusing, blaming, avoiding?
Who are you within your current systems? Do you accept the rules or do you set them? Is your communication transparent and do you express your feelings and your needs? (for example think about situation with your friends where you chose to avoid the conflict instead of expressing yourself – how different your friendship might become if you choose to be transparent?).
Imagine how different our communication and our systems might become if we appeal to our essence and if we respect each other feelings and needs. How reach and transparent our friendships can be if we express ourselves!
I invite you to connect with yourself and experience the real change of your systems!
Have a great week ahead!