Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Secret in Life – is there one?

Norman Vincent Peale says "The secret of life is not what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you."

I love this quote, and have seen this be a blueprint for disaster and success in business. Life and business often sends us curveballs to deal with that is a fact of life. How we deal with life’s situations is what becomes really important. The first step in changing how we deal with life’s situations is changing how we see the situation. This of course is easier said than done.

Many years ago, one of my mentors, Dr. James T. Reese, said “sometimes the way you see the problem IS the problem”. It took a while for this statement to gel in my mind but when it did I remember thinking “WOW! That is so true.” It answered the question why in a workplace situation that involves two or more people, sometimes the problem exists only for one person. I was reminded of this again when I was a mediator, facilitating the resolution of corporate disputes and workplace conflict. Often the real difficulty was rooted in the way that each person viewed the situation.

Just to highlight this point, picture a book in your mind. How many sides does it have? Some people say two, a front and a back. Others say six – the front, the back, top, outside and bottom. Others say eight, open the book up and you have two more sides then you did for the previous answer. The point is that a book on the surface may look like it has two sides, and workplace events may also appear that way until you really zero in and see if you can look at the situation a little differently. Sometimes when you look at the situation with a different perspective, you invite a solution that wasn’t obvious until you looked at it in a new way.

What can you do this week to look at challenges in having more than two sides?

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