Life Hacks, Collaborative Problem Solving, & More
Today at a Glance
- Question: How are you complicit?
- Quote: Character is forged in darkness.
- Framework: "Us vs. Problem" collaboration.
- Tweet: What is ignored by the media?
- Article: Very good life hacks.
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Question I'm asking myself regularly:
How am I complicit in creating the conditions that I don’t want?
This question comes from executive coach Jerry Colonna and has become a staple in my self-reflection arsenal.
When we find ourselves in challenging or frustrating situations, our natural tendency is to look outward. We observe the situation as negative and experience it accordingly.
This question forces you to pause and look inward—to ask whether there are any actions, mindsets, or patterns through which you are contributing to the negativity of the situation.
I recently experienced a situation where this question provided a valuable reset:
I was sitting with my 10-month-old son as he was playing with his toys. He started to get fussy and began screaming and crying. It was at the end of a long day and I found myself getting frustrated at the situation. He was fed, changed, and had recently taken a nap, so I couldn't understand what he could possibly be unhappy about. I started to experience the moment very negatively, until I asked myelf this question as a reset.
I hadn't been present with him during the moments leading up to his tantrum. I had checked my phone and gotten stressed about something (which definitely wasn't worth getting stressed over). From that point on, I was with my son, but I wasn't really there.
I realized that this shift may have contributed to the situation, even if subtly. This awareness allowed me to come back to center and settle him down.
The point here is that developing an awareness of how your own actions and behaviors contribute to negative or stressful situations is powerful. It puts you back in the driver's seat of your life.
Try it and let me know what you think.
Quote on embracing struggle:
"Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness." - Yousuf Karsh
The seeds of creation are sown during destruction.
Outlast your darkness to reveal your light on the other side.
"Us vs. Problem" Collaboration
Dr. Julie Gurner is an executive coach who works with some of the most powerful and high performing leaders in the world. She has developed a simple model for conflict resolution that will prove effective in both your personal and professional life.
The model focuses on shifting from conflict to collaboration.
In a typical conflict, the two participants find themselves facing off on an issue. This is what Dr. Gurner calls "Me vs. You" positioning. This is a confrontational positioning that typically sparks an emotional defensive stance from one or both of the participants.
This defensiveness makes for an unproductive environment that rarely leads to a positive solution.
Instead, Dr. Gurner encourages a shift to "Us vs. Problem" positioning. The idea here is to move from being adversaries toward being collaborators working together against the same common enemy (the problem in need of solving).
Here's a visualization of the shift from conflict to collaboration:
When you face your next personal or professional life conflict, consider how you can quickly shift from "Me vs. You" to "Us vs. Problem" to improve the dynamics and improve the likelihood of a productive resolution.
Tweet that got me thinking:
This is a thread that will get you thinking! Take the time to flip through the whole thing. Very interesting.
Article of life hacks I loved:
Because of my very public affinity for "life hacks", I had this article sent to me about 100 times. It's quick and quite good.
A few favorites:
- Let people tell you no. Don’t make the decision for them.
- Seek out weirdest people at parties.
- If you told someone in the year 1400 that the earth rotates around the sun, they’d either ridicule or burn you.
Worth a read!