Last week the focus was on “reactive strategies,” that are rooted in the Victim Orientation and engage the (DDT) Dreaded Drama Triangle™.  There IS an alternative:

The situation is tense at work or at home.  You are overwhelmed with all that you have on your plate to do.  An important colleague or one of your family members comes to you with an urgent request that you had not anticipated.  How could you respond to this from TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)™?

As a Creator, focusing on the outcomes we are committed to is paramount.  At the same time, we respond to the other as a Creator in their own right, capable and resourceful in accomplishing the outcomes to which they are committed.  In speaking to outcomes, while being supportive, we might say: “I know your request is important.  However, I have commitments that I need to focus on right now that are important for me to complete.  I am willing to take 5-10 minutes to help you brainstorm how to get your needs met.”

A Challenger may see the situation that the other has brought to them as an opportunity for learning and growth.  Again, it would be important to see them as a Creator in their own right, responsible for the situation at hand.  “I cannot take the time right now to help you.  If you could have given me some advance warning, I would have been happy to help or to work it into my other commitments.  In the future, I would appreciate more lead time. I am willing to take 5-10 minutes now, though, to help you brainstorm how to get your needs met.”  Tone-of-voice is critical here and the goal is not to make them feel bad or make them “wrong,” but to offer a perspective that can lead to learning.

Such situations arise all the time for us – they are part of the human experience.  When they happen, we can cultivate the capability to RESPOND, rather than react.  As a Creator, Challenger and/or Coach, we have a range of empowering and co-creative responsive strategies available to us.  All we need do is create them!  As we cultivate and grow into this way of being, we develop new, more resourceful and effective strategies for choosing our response to situations as they arise.