One lesson I have learned over time and now stress in my coaching practice is teaching my clients to take responsibility for their problems by first asking themselves, “What have I done to contribute to the problem?” This is a huge move in taking back your own power in all situations.
What are the benefits of taking Ownership (the third step in our Ride the Wave process which uses the acronym S.T.O.P.)?
1) You’ll soften your position and so will others.
2) You’ll be better able to objectively listen to others.
3) You’ll also be able to change your contribution next time. Which in turn eliminates (or significantly eliminates) your role.
4) You’ll positively change the dynamic in any relationship, whether with your child, your spouse or your boss.
At the outset it is easy to see what others have done wrong when you’re facing a problem, but part of ‘riding the wave’ is learning to cross the bridge of ownership. It’s a great lesson to teach your children too, especially with regards to sibling rivalry. When one of my children comes to me and says, “She hit me!”, my first question back (assuming they are not obviously hurt) is, “…and what did you do?”
When we teach children to take ownership for their actions and what they did to contribute to a problem we help them see that both parties played a role and that no one is the victim or the bully, but the real answer is that both could have made better choices. This is exactly what Dr. Bill Cloke says is the 1st tip in a recent blog he posted titled “5 Things Couples Should Never Do“. This same principle applies for adults too. Check it out for his other 4 tips.
Remember you must take the first step to eliminate relationship conflict and create the peace you desire in all areas of your life. To learn more about how to create peace in your life buy my book and learn how to RIDE THE WAVE!