This week, I’ve been deep in the writing and completion of The Elegant Pivot Workbook. What seemed like a simple project at the beginning has become much more comprehensive (and difficult) than I expected.
It hit me today that I was seeing it all wrong. Or upside down. That might be a less judgmental term for how I was seeing it.
So how was I seeing it? First, I saw it as a no big deal thing. A workbook. How hard can it be? That question should always cause me to question my assumption!
Second, it was an obstacle, heavy and almost overwhelming when it sunk in what I had decided to do. When I feel that much weight, I need to remember to break it down into pieces.
Here’s a story to illustrate that point. Last weekend, daughter Jen was showing in her first art show right in the heart of Lake Lure. Mid Afternoon of the first day, we had a big cold front move through. The winds were howling, and her display tent was threatening to lift off to the heavens. We decided she needed more weight to hold the thing down and I told her I would gather up some weights and bring them. Time was short, because Russ and I were hosting an outdoor dinner ourselves in a few hours. (Yes, in the howling wind.) I looked at the time and gulped with the overwhelm of the task on top of getting ready for the people showing up shortly.
I loaded up my car and headed over to the art festival. Parking would be a challenge, but I found a perfect, illegal place to park close by. I took all the weights and ropes out of the car and then barbell by barbell, walked them across the street to her location. I helped her add them to her tent configuration and headed back to prepare the dinner.
In the end, the whole thing took less than 45 minutes. While driving, I did some quick math on the weights I had delivered. In that time span, I moved over 500 pounds. Needless to say, I cannot move 500 pounds in one step! However, when I did it 25 pound barbell by 25 pound barbell, I did it easily. If you had told me “Lynn, you have less than an hour to move 500 pounds,” I would have sunk with overwhelm.
Breaking a seemingly huge task down into the steps made the job so much simpler.
Back to the workbook. As I’ve been building the lessons piece by piece, I’m now seeing that there is one simple piece of wisdom underneath every single building block of The Elegant Pivot:
When you see it differently, a difficult task becomes manageable.
I’ve been part of a writing group for a little over a year and have been posting snippets of the workbook as part of a regular writing practice. I went back and pulled out some of the snippets and the responses, because they beautifully illustrate an Elegant Pivot in every case.
The Workbook: One of my early coaches said “It’s never personal, even when the other person is making it personal. If you see through it, you will see their attack is all about them.”
Response: Such great advice…There are a few times when I wish I had thought about things that way …
The Workbook: Rather than closing down the conversation with our defenses, we OPEN the conversation with the idea of Tell Me More
Response: What a cool idea. Thank you.
The Workbook: With this stance, not only will you defuse most attacks, you just might learn something.
Response: Yes, I’ve started to employ these tactics with a couple of my loved ones and I find it’s working. So, thank you for putting gold out into the world!
The Workbook: In truth, when we make judgments based only on what we can see, it’s like judging a whole library based on one book cover.
Response: Perfect comparison…workbook exercises are great! just reading them makes me think…
The Workbook: You are the expert on your INTENT. The other person is the expert on YOUR impact.
Response: This is such a truth-beast.
The Workbook: When you are grateful for what you have, you will get more of what you want. It’s as simple as that.
In essence, the message is really simple. If we see it differently, we act differently. Then we get a different result. The book is about assuming positive intent – and indeed, just doing that makes a huge difference. But there are many, many building blocks that allow us to assume positive intent, especially when we are feeling vulnerable, are under pressure or fear we have made a mistake.
The cool thing is that in all the building blocks, the key move is to pivot and change how you see it.
For those receiving The Coaching Digest, many of you have signed up to be beta testers for the for first draft of The Elegant Pivot Workbook. My target to get the first draft to you is by the end of next week, so watch your inbox. If you would like to get an early copy, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you to the list.