Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
– Leonard Cohen, Anthem
Forget your perfect offering. In conflict and conflict resolution your perfect offering gets in the way.
It gets in the way if you’re so worried about saying exactly the right thing that you paralyze yourself and so say nothing. Or hold back until you’ve held back too long, then burst with the frustration of it.
It gets in the way if you believe you’ve got it all figured out and present your solution to the other(s) involved, awaiting their nods of approval. Your anticipation of agreement sets you up for misery, anger, despair or frustration if they don’t view your offering as perfect as you do. Expectations of others responses are the stuff of disappointment and missed opportunity during conflict and negotiations.
Forget your perfect offering. Speak from your heart, with all its flaws and foibles. Expect that you – and they – will be imperfect as you sort through the problem. That’s the good kind of expectation to have because it gives you freedom of movement.
Embrace imperfection, the cracks that let the light in. Allow yourselves to be imperfect humans, trying to live your lives with a little grace, getting it wrong some of the time, getting it right much of the time.