Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Parallel Universe

I have great zeal for helping my clients learn how to interact more effectively instead of vying for power and control. But frankly, we often don't see how our own behavior plays a role in the difficulties that arise in relationships.

Instead, we tend to blame others for their behavior.
We lose sight of the fact that the very act of "blaming" makes us players in the power game. In The Fifth Discipline Peter Senge describes how the underlying structure of a human system "causes its own behavior."

We have the power to alter these structures and create new patterns, but our interaction systems are subtle: we usually don't see the structures at play. In particular we don't see how our own behavior helps maintain the status quo in relationships.

Changing such patterns requires a complete change in context -- we must step into a parallel universe of human interaction where the old, unexamined rules no longer compel us to act in certain ways, where we ask new questions:
  • "What's behind this other person's behavior?"
  • "What am I doing that keeps this dysfunctional pattern of interaction repeating itself?"
  • "What could the pay-off possibly be for me to have things remain the same?"
  • "How might either of us do something different?"

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