I know you’ve had this experience, we all have. So let me share this heartbreak, a recent client experience, with you and then let’s see if we can make lemonade from lemons.
She walks in the house, slams the door crying heading for the kitchen where most conversations of importance begin or end. “Well, that didn’t go well at all” she says reaching for a tissue to wipe away the tears from the pain and emotion. “He just won’t listen to me, he won’t think outside his normal stubborn way of looking at us buying a home.”
She’s pregnant with their 2nd child and doesn’t yet know if it will be a brother or sister to their 21 month old son. They live in an 1150 square foot patio home with two bedrooms and 1 bath, a nice enough neighborhood but too small for an expanding family, two dogs, a business and all the stuff they’ve saved over the years. Their one car garage is filled with supplies, tools, and the belongings just mentioned.
He wanted to buy her their first home with a yard for the kids in a nice safe neighborhood and after considering the cost, the down payment, their qualifications, and his work, he just concluded that he is not ready to take this on the way he wants to do it. This after 3 months of her looking at property to be able to recognize the right one when it came along. This day it came along, and this day he got so scared and upset that she had to create some space to recover from the extreme fight they had.
Ok, what happened? Always the best question to ask first to begin to sort out what’s next. Lets look at 4 skills that will always produce a win win outcome.
INTEGRITY - We all understand that this at it’s most basic level is doing what you say you are going to do by the time you say you will do it. It also include being responsible and accountable for the messes you make in life and then cleaning them up. Integrity cannot be avoided and is the underlying assumption we all have as mature adults when dealing with anybody else. But what about mistakes or when something happens - Yes, that too. You are responsible for the life you live and it is created one moment at a time, one choice at a time. To live a life of integrity takes rigorous discipline, self control, and determined actions.
EXISTENCE - This one is not so obvious but simple refers to structures in the present that keep something alive or going or on track. Think “Existence Systems” or, considering life is a game, how do you know where you are, your progress, your accomplishments, your failures, what’s working or not, and how it’s going? Life and all that’s possible live only in the conversations you create and speak in language, and just as it’s spoken, it then goes right out of existence until spoken again. Budgets, profit and loss statements, and projects are examples of existence systems.
RELATIONSHIP - We are all related - period - the end! Now assuming that’s true what do you do about or with this pillar of life? The people in your life are all resources, that’s why you chose them, which you did. I don’t believe life simply occurs in a random sequence of events with no purpose or order, we create it for ourselves moment by moment. Your relationships with people become relevant when you know why you put them there. They may be coaches for your game, owners of company’s who offer you work, affiliates for you business, or spouses with whom we want to share all the experiences of our life. Are you good at relationships, that can be measured by how much you allow others to contribute to you. Children are the best at being related, they give and accept without struggle or effort.
ENROLLMENT - This is the amazing ability we all have to pass on to another the passion, enthusiasm, and excitement of something we are committed to. AND, we do this in a way that the person who is listening to us is so moved and inspired that they actually experience our passion and excitement. I will go so far as to say that what you want in life is yours for the asking if you will only enroll enough people in that which you want. The ethers of the universe will allign and product it for you, good or bad!
Back to our couple - This is an exercise best done by you for the sake of learning something for yourself. Here’s a few questions to ask while you consider their situation:
- Were they both playing the same game
- Did they have a game plan and existence structure for winning the game
- Who was being responsible for the outcome and how did it get to tears
- Who was enrolling, who was enrolled and in what
- How was the relationship used by him, by her
- What can you see is the next most appropriate action for him, for her
- What did you learn about yourself and what’s the next most empowering action you could take