UMBC Wellness in the Workplace

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December 2010: “Let go of the steering wheel.”

Have you ever noticed that when you really want someone to do something for you, they seem resistant, even immobilized to offer it? The more you insist and persuade, clearly explaining why it’s in their best interest to do X, the more reticent they are. From observing human dynamics, it’s clear that the need for control and compliance is behind the steering wheel. Have you ever tried simply letting go of control? What space for action does this ‘move’ open for your partner? Sometimes, simply deciding to let go of the steering wheel – without having a conversation with your partner about it – internally creates movement and an opening for them to make the offer you want.

In the next month, try this practice out in your professional and personal life. Determine which behavior, action, or task you’ll let go of and simply observe for several weeks. If your partner makes a change and does what you originally requested, again observe their energy level and compliment them on what they did. Notice how this practice shifts you and your partner’s behavior and the relationship. Also observe how easy or difficult it is for you to be in the passenger seat.