You might have a pretty big should library you refer to quite frequently. It is a voice in your head that tells you what you should and should not be doing and how things should be done. Someone cuts you off on the highway, “They should not do that. It’s dangerous!” A team member doesn’t say hello in the morning, “How rude! He should be more friendly.” A client doesn’t respond to your email. “I always respond to theirs. They should get back to me if they want me to get their work to them quickly.”
The voice goes on and on. All day. The worst part is that you refer to your should library and many times use it as a weapon against yourself. It says things like, “You should be smarter than that, Lynda. What were you thinking?” “How could you let that happen? You should have seen that obstacle coming and done something about it much sooner.”
Basically, we should all over ourselves and everyone else. Constantly referring to those shoulds often puts us right into the Dreaded Drama Triangle. We persecute ourselves and others in an endless cycle that shuts down our higher level thinking. Shoulding on ourselves and others is the easy way out. Shoulding doesn’t require deeper understanding or compassion. Shoulds are the “auto-pilot” responses we have come to rely on without much effort at all.
If you’d like a challenge for yourself and your team this week, try this exercise.
Day one and two.
Simply notice when you are shoulding on yourself and others. Don’t do anything about it and certainly don’t think you shouldn’t be doing it. Just notice. Be mindful of when it is happening. How often do you should on yourself? When you are frustrated with someone else, is there a hidden should that is underneath of that frustration? Do you use shoulds as your excuse to not do something you know would move things forward and possibly get something unstuck with someone else?
Day three and four.
Take a deep breath each time you notice a should. Just one deep breath, and move on. Don’t think about it anymore than that. Be aware that it just happened and one, long, deep breath, that’s it.
Be aware that you should on someone or yourself. Stop, take a deep breath, and then see if you could answer the question, Is that true? Is that really true? What would I be without that thought? What if the opposite of that were true? (This series of questions is taken from Katie Byron’s work).
Day six and seven.
Continue the practice of:
Awareness. Breathe. Curiosity. Now add Compassion. For yourself and others.
This coming Sunday, April 26, 2015, from 2p-6p, at the Grandin CoLab in Roanoke, VA, you, along with your family, friends and associates have an opportunity to experience a unique event centered around how to use DISC and the practice of the Team Work Cycle to get unstuck. Methods like the one’s I will teach transformed the way my husband, daughter, and I were able to more effectively communicate with one another. I hope you can join us. Here’s the link if you would like to find out more.
CLICK ON THIS: http://www.inticketing.com/events/letstalkroanoke%20/