One area where this is detrimental to your well-being, to your success, to your energy, to your mood, is promises.
Requests and promises are actions. But they are not binary, even though the multitudes, and your mother and your boss, treat them as such.
When I request something of you, you think you are locked in to say either yes or no.
But your thinking is wrong… So what other choices do you have?
Here are the other choices, you didn’t know you had:
- Choice #1. you can promise to answer later… after all you making a promise without consulting your calendar, your family, and yourself… is moronic, wouldn’t you say so? The result of not knowing about this choice is detrimental to your well-being… you feel locked in, you are miserable, and you start hating the perpetrator: yourself or the person to whom you promised. Unavoidable.
So what if you want to promise but not exactly yes/no?
- Choice #2: Counter-offer. I want to promise, but not what you asked for, but something slightly or dramatically different… Not 15, but 10, not today, but tomorrow, not this but that.
It doesn’t matter that the requester presents their offer in a binary way… the fact that they are locked in, doesn’t oblige you to “mirror” their limited thinking.
The fact that you hear everything as an ultimatum, is proof positive of your scarcity thinking.
It is the workplace I am in, currently have been working 18hours a week , they want me to work 24 hours a week next year and 37 hours a week the following year.
Legally it looks like they should have given me a contract for the 18 hours but outside of that there was a lot of drama around how they let me know of the changes etc , no prior consultation , they knew I didn’t want extra hours etc and are forcing me into it or no job .
It doesn’t feel like it is a great place for me to grow, I don’t feel fulfilled in it and would like to be doing my life’s work.
I am looking to get out of the drama which has shifted somewhat since the attachment removal.
I would like some help in moving forward without the drama and best approach to use with my employer.
Of course the 18 hours work is ideal to pay the bills and gives me space to start to move into more fulfilling work but the other options are not.
That’s an insight into what is going on.
You see the thinking of the email writer: either accept or find another job. Either stay and not grow, or move.
Communication as option doesn’t even come up…
Now, truth be told, I had never heard about communication before I first did the Communication Course and heard about the moves in language, moves in communication.
Counter offer? Promise to promise later? They were, at that point, an alien language.
My life had been a battle field… Everything was edgy, yes, no, victory or defeat. I was winning, or I was losing.
Binary thinking gets you locked in things that don’t serve you… and locked out of others, that would make life moving, flowing, and wonderful.
Now, let me return to promises:
Unwittingly we make a lot more promises than what we are actually willing or able to keep. This includes promises we made to ourselves!
A promise is a lie hanging out in the universe… like an i.o.u.
Your job is to have no lies… so as soon as you see that you are not going to keep your promise, your job is to deal with it.
These are three moves in communication when you made a promise and you find yourself not keeping it…
- Recommit. Start with the facts: I promised X. I haven’t been doing it… I am recommitting…
- Cancel and take the consequences Start with the facts: I promised X. I did Y… I am canceling my commitment. Y can be something or nothing… Always tell the truth. Not the reason, the truth, the fact… please.
- Renegotiate Start with the facts: I promised X. I see that it doesn’t work for me. I’d like to change my promise to Y… that works for me.
Notice that ego wants to justify… no need. Just tell the truth… All justification is a move to avoid being responsible. But responsibility is your access to power… I would not want to give that up for anything… got it?
Unless you become masterful in these moves, you’ll always be locked in, locked out, and out of integrity… And without integrity nothing works. Nothing.
PS: Unless your “negotiating” partner is completely amoral, like maffia, gang, or a terrorist, you can gently coerce them to do the right thing… I hope you don’t do business with amoral people…