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How to forgive fast in favor of flow.

How to forgive fast in favor of flow.

Forgiveness may be one of the most important noble traits because it holds up progress and flow. Both inside ourselves and with others. Flow is the passage for love and creativity - so keeping it wide open and unconstrained is absolutely the most crucial role of a team leader. Did I say, love? You bet. Why? Because love is really what matters more than anything else. If we can’t love ourselves and others, even when they are doing things we don’t like, we become a block for creativity and goodness in the world.

Attachment to angst.

When we want something from someone else and become attached to getting it in a hurry, our own energy becomes blocked. It hijacks our thoughts and constricts our ability to be present and loving so that a reasonable conversation can take place. Urgency results when the ego is engaged and becomes inflamed because it is not getting what it wants.

“Those in a hurry cannot keep their dignity... Ancient Chinese Proverb

Forgiveness for flow.

Forgiveness means to stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake. It has nothing to do with excusing the offense, flaw or mistake. It’s something we do for ourselves first. Then and only then, can forgiveness arise for others. 

Relationships are complicated but I’ve learned a lot about conflict over the years and tend to use the Tilt framework to think things through and make a decision. In many cases, the first thing to do is let it go for a week and revisit the dynamics than determine which way to Tilt in a two-party disagreement. Sometimes waiting for things to settle will give you the answers you need.

Using the Tilt framework to make the best decision in disagreement.

To make a wise decision, we must weigh the importance or two polarities. The ability to influence the other party and the risk to your own stability and security is the first. 

  1. Is your ability to influence the other party high or low?
  2. Is the risk to your security high or low?  

Second, is the most important of the relationship versus the importance of the outcome. 

  1. Is the importance of the relationship high or low?
  2. Is the importance of the outcome high or low?

It’s important to evaluate both sides of the interaction to decide which path to take. Meaning where do YOU stand on the issues and where do THEY stand on the issues. If you can find a way to work together then it remains a productive relationship. If you find yourselves at an impasse, then you've got some choices to make. 

High Influence and High Relationship Importance

If your ability to influence the other party is high, then you have a chance to collaborate with the other party as an Ally. If their behavior shows that they are also willing to prioritize the relationship over the outcome in this instance, then you can truly discuss things and stay in connection to work through the issues to a resolution that is win-win for both of you. This is an ideal interaction that prioritizes working together to negotiate what works for you both. In this instance, both parties end up feeling understood, heard and respected. It may end up being a compromise of some kind on both sides, but it works. 

Low Influence and High Relationship Importance

If you have not been able to influence the other party, then you must decide if the relationship is more important than the outcome in this situation. If it is, then compliance may be the right answer. It’s kind of like picking your battles and this one may not be that important over the long run. For example, let's say I'm in a squabble with someone over where to go to dinner tonight. The relationship may mean more to me than getting what I want tonight and increases the odds I will get a return favor in kind. So, if it seems ok to let it go, then do that. Unless it happens that you are always the one complying in the relationship. Or if the matter is of grave importance to you and you give in anyway. That can set up a pattern of lose-win for you and may eventually mean your value in the relationship is permanently compromised. You can spend enormous energy trying to collaborate with someone who continues to prioritize their own outcomes over yours for ultimate control. If you feel frequent frustration and resentment in a relationship, this is likely what’s going on. You are compliant and they are in control. It’s a choice, but it indicates you have doubts about your value, not requiring respect and will tolerate constant cycles of negative energy.

High Influence and High Outcome Importance

If you may have the power to influence a situation and the outcome is important, then it may mean you can choose Risk and drive the outcome forward. This requires you to exude confidence and power of persuasion in moving your plan forward. It means owning that you have a decision right to assert some important vision you care about, even when others might not see it themselves yet. The answer, in this case, is to take a Risk that some people might not like it, but you believe strongly enough in your vision to take action and make it happen anyway. This makes a strong statement and often helps people realize you mean business. It requires tenacity, confidence, fortitude, persuasion skills and personal conviction. You must do your homework, devise a plan and push it forward despite complaints and take the risk that it might not turn out well but you're willing to bear the consequences. If you believe in yourself enough, you might also catalyze change that is transformational for all parties involved and teach them something about you. If it doesn’t work, then you will feel satisfied that you made a valiant effort. At a minimum, you will exercise your power and grow stronger as a result. 

Low Influence and High Outcome Importance

This fourth situation is a last resort, but might be the way to go if your ability influence doesn't seem to be working and the outcome is truly more important to you than the relationship. The time to employ this strategy is when there is a potential risk to your long term security and then Force may become your only remaining choice. This can even go as far as engaging experts and asserting legal process when the situation calls for it and you need power of authority outside the relationship to help you resolve things. Force actually means the assertion of authority and power. Doing what has to be done. It isn’t the first place to go but it may be your only option if it means you can’t negotiate a win-win outcome. Not everyone has our best interests in mind, so it’s a necessary process available to use to ensure our survival in some cases. As soon as you realize your own stability is at risk, act quickly and stay the course. Acting wishy-washy in this case is a dead giveaway that you will back down and an indicator that it might not really be that important to you. 

Forgiveness gives us space to reflect.

Getting back into the flow is something we do for ourselves. Loving and forgiving ourselves when we don’t get it right is the only thing that can help us. It’s the only thing that can help the people we are in a relationship with too. We have to let go of being attached to what others do or don’t do. When someone else chooses their own outcomes over the relationship that’s OK too and is their right. If they do it too often or choose the wrong battle it can certainly come at the cost of the relationship. But we will all survive and move on. For me, I find comfort in knowing I can consult the Tilt framework anytime, assess the situation and decide the best path forward. Relationships can be confusing and confounding if we are caught up in winning. If we can Tilt to context instead, then we can choose to keep our relationships in a good balance. Only then can we maintain consistent respect and dignity for ourselves and others. We are all making choices. Whether the fit remains a good one, is up to each of us.