Thursday, April 30, 2009

What is the Fear?

Let’s face it: Hidden fear is more powerful than disclosed fear. Pastor Rick Warren, the king of acronyms and alliterations, cites fear as “False Evidence Appearing Real.” And, it’s scary stuff.

So, what resonates for you in this picture? The shark cruising the neighborhood looking for a tasty treat… or the surfer who thought he was simply out for an afternoon of fun? Are you more likely to play a role of villain, or victim? Or, would you be the lifeguard hero on the beach coming to save the day?

The interesting thing about fear is what happens to us when we’re gripped by it. Often, we slip into characters… call them dramatic roles … and play out these scripts that we’ve been playing our whole lives… the man afraid of conflict who “goes small”… the woman afraid of being betrayed who turns into an icy cold emotionless villain… the office manager afraid of losing her sense of worth who saves the day by staying until all hours of the night.

The antidote for hidden fear is to bring it into the light. Disclose it. Own it. Step outside of it and ask, “What’s really going on here?”

So, who are you playing right now?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What Advice Do You Have For Them?

We were about to wrap up for the day. It had been a tough morning with difficult issues. Out of left field, one of the members said, “Could we spend a few minutes talking about some tactical steps that we need to figure out? Frankly, we don’t know what we should do!”

We didn't have much time, so I invited the whole group to stand up from the couch and come across to the other side of the room for a huddle and then whispered something like…

“So, there’s this group sitting over there on the couch and they don’t know what to do. What advice do you have for them?”

And, guess what? Immediately, ideas began coming forth. Things began to get un-stuck. “Well, they could just…” and pretty soon everyone was building off of the other ideas. When they wound down, I invited them to take a few steps further away and said…

“Okay, now it’s six months from now. The issue that group on the couch was facing has successfully resolved. Where do you think they are now? What have they learned?”

And we talked some more. More ideas. More creativity. And then, I asked, “So, from this place of successful resolution, what words of encouragement do you have for that group on the couch?”

And, out came the most positive, upbeat, “take no prisoners”, “go get ‘em” remarks imaginable!

Will they be successful? I don’t know. But, they sure got some great support from that group standing on the other side of the room!

Am I Listening?

A while back, someone said to me, “Wow, Vince, you’re such a good listener!”  It made me wonder what it’s like to be a bad listener!  So, I ...