Engaging the Resistance


July 19th, 2016

EngagingTheResistanceI’m riffing some ideas here based on the four themes we’ve been exploring for Creative Leadership:

Having bolder conversations
Connecting more deeply
Engaging the resistance
Staying alive

 

Whoa! This one is hard! I’m not so sure about our “most difficult challenges” – there’s also “everyday challenges” – the things we, I, resist all the time. I have a mantra that helps me with this: Show Up, Let Go, Jump In. I’ve written about this before. Also, begin before you are ready. Both of these help me to bypass my natural reticence. Johnnie and I really like this quote by Hugh Laurie:

“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready… There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”  

Resistance seems to become bigger, and harder to shift, once it gets a foothold. Beginning before you are ready seems a good idea to me. I often work with groups who have not done some of the activities that we like to use in workshops. As well having a reputation for finishing on time (a good thing), I also seem to be attracting a reputation for not answering questions (not always seen as a good thing). I have a reason for not taking questions before an activity. I try and give clear instructions, well, clear enough to start. The key is to start – to start before you are ready – and to gather more information when you need it. Asking questions, thinking about what hypothetically ‘might’ happen takes us into our heads. Sure it’s a way of mitigating risk. It’s also a way of not starting until you are ready – and who knows when you will be ready?

If you’re intrigued by our leadership workshop in Cambridge, August 31 – Sept 2, but not sure what to expect, why not engage your resistance, and take a leap into the (relative) unknown? We’d love for you to come and explore these ideas with us.

2 Comments so far

  1. Chris Corrigan on July 20, 2016 2:55 am

    Viv: I have solved the “not taking questions” problem.

    I give very clear instructions for a process. When I am finished, I ask for a show of hands of all those who “have enough clarity to get on with it.” I ask people to hold their hands up high. I then invite enybody who is still unclear about what to do to ask one of the people with their hands in the air.

    I have been doing this for two years, and have had maybe a handful of questions in that time, all of which were small details that I somehow made a hash of in the instructions.

  2. Viv McWaters on July 20, 2016 4:23 pm

    Thanks Chris. I sometimes do this too – I’m pretty sure I learnt it from you in the first place 🙂

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