“I guess this isn’t for us.”
“It’s always been done this way in our field.”
“I can’t do it because I don’t have the positional authority.”
“What will my co-worker’s say when I do this?”
“It’s easier to sue the people than to settle with them.”
All of these statements are fear based. All of these statements are stories; stories individuals (and there are a lot of them) tell themselves to stop themselves from embarking upon doing the hard work that matters. Doing that work will require a sacrifice of time, power, authority, influence, and many other intangible assets, and many of us are unwilling to give those assets up, because a bird in the hand is worth…well, exactly what we’ve always been told it’s worth.
Whether you’re choosing to dance with the Devil you do know, or choosing to avoid (or accommodate) the Devil that you don’t, you’re dancing with the Devil either way.
How about this instead: Don’t dance.
Don’t dance with the naysayers (no matter how powerful they appear to be); don’t dance with the status quo (no matter how entrenched it happens to be); don’t dance with the expectations and assumptions of others who have no idea how important the work is. Instead, dance with your own fear and seek not to conquer it; instead, seek to collaborate with it assertively.
Then, not only will the process, the philosophy, the service, and the project be for you, but it will also be for everyone else who can’t dance with their own fear.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org