People often ask for tips on how to put The Empowerment Dynamic (TED*) into practice on a daily basis.  In response, I am happy to share the following 7 Daily Practices:

1.  Morning Quiet Time & Intention Setting (An outline of this process can be found in Chapter 9: “Shift Happens” in The Power of TED*.)

If at all possible, set aside 10-15 minutes (and more if you can!) for quiet time, reflection & intention setting.  The purpose of this time is to center, pray/meditate and choose baby steps for the day.  You may perhaps start with an inspirational reading.  Affirm your commitment to the Creator Orientation and to the TED* roles – as a Creator, Challenger and Coach.  Express gratitude for the relationship you are establishing with your life and for whatever aspects of your life call for gratitude. Then invite guidance and conscious awareness as a Creator and review your intentions and choices of what you feel called to create in your life. Finally choose and commit to 3 baby steps for the day. This might be as simple as making a particular phone call; or gathering information that will further the process of creating an outcome; or maybe just writing in your journal.

2.  Take a “Time Out!”

Create a way to call “time out!” every two hours (or so) by setting an alarm on a watch, alarm clock, computer, etc.  Take a few minutes to review the past two hours. Which Orientation have you been acting from – Victim or Creator? How have your interactions been?  How much have you been acting in Dreaded Drama Triangle roles (Victim, Persecutor, Rescuer) and how much in TED* (Creator, Challenger, Coach)?  How might you make the shift to more empowered and resource roles?

3.    See Everyone as a Creator

In every interaction, remind yourself: this person before me is a Creator (or, in a group context, all of these people are Creators).  This is true whether they know it or not or weather they are acting like it or not! This simple practice will have an amazing impact on the way you respond to them and the situation in which you find yourself.  In addition, this anchors you in the role of a Creator.

 4.    Ask First, Tell Second

Many of us have a tendency to offer advice or to tell people what we think they should do – unfortunately, this is often the way of the Rescuer.  This discipline anchors you in the role of Coach.  A Coach asks good, powerful questions that helps the other person (whom you are already seeing as a Creator) to clarify the outcomes they choose to create or how they choose to respond to a situation; to clarify their current realities; and/or to generate and discern possible baby steps for moving forward.  Only after asking questions might a Coach offer advice or give directions.

5.    Check Your Intention

This is at the heart of becoming a conscious, constructive and effective Challenger.  Ask yourself:  Is my intention to look good or to further learning & development?  This requires an honest assessment.  If you check within and determine that the challenge your feel compelled to communicate is in order for you to look good; be right; pass judgment; further your own agenda; or in any way put the other down, the chances are great – if not guaranteed – that a challenge from this intention will place you in the eyes of the other as a Persecutor.   However, if you can “look yourself in the mirror” and are clear that your intention is to further learning; to increase the capacity and capability of the other to be a Creator; and can to do so with respect and care – then that is the way of the Challenger.

6.    Speak to what you want

Don’t be seduced by the Kinship of Victimhood, in which we collude with others in perpetuating the “ain’t it awful” perspective of the Victim.  This kinship keeps us focused on what we don’t want and don’t like, which is firmly rooted in the Victim (Problem) Orientation.  Instead, speak to choices and what you want – whether it is about an outcome you want to create or how you choose to respond to a situation and encourage others to do the same.

7.    End-of-day Reflection

Finally, at the end of the day, take at least 10 minutes to reflect back on your day.  You may do this while flossing, brushing your teeth and preparing for bed.  Better yet, sit in a chair in quiet for 10 minutes. Replay the day in much the same way as the “2-hour Time Out!” Looking back, when were you operating from the Victim or Problem Orientation and when were you rooted in the Creator or Outcome Orientation?  What roles did you find yourself in? When you fell into a DDT role, if you could declare a “do over,” how might you have made the shift into the corresponding more empowered and resourceful TED* role?  Don’t judge yourself as good or bad in this practice– just notice and discern where you are and how you might continue to grow.

These seven relatively simple – though not always easy – daily practices will increase your capacity to live and grow more consciously and consistently into being a Creator and cultivating TED* roles and relationships in your life – at home, at work, and in your community.