Published in Womeninc, June 2006
by Diana Gabriel
A few months ago, I asked you to approach your daily interactions in a new way: to be curious and aware of expanding your perspective of possibility. I am confident that the more you have stood in possibility in your daily way of being, the more options you have noticed for being in alignment with who and what you want to be in relationship with others. My clients report finding a greater sense of freedom when they shift their perspective and focus to what is possible – no matter what they are dealing with at the time.
Let’s continue to build on possibility and the process of integrating it into being a mindful, accountable leader. The next step is to take the Art of Possibility deeper by being responsible for Radiating Possibility. This will require you to shift and expand the focus of possibility from yourself to others.
In their book The Art of Possibility, Ben and Roz Zander speak to each of us having ownership of our behaviors. We create our own reality and also influence the reality of others. They believe that it is possible for each of us to experience aliveness and connection with others on an everyday basis. They write that a vibrant world of possibility lies beyond fears, habits, and assumptions, if you have the courage to “enter the dance” – meaning to be fully alive and present to what is possible.
What does this mean in a practical sense? Imagine the impact you could have if you were to notice conversations that were in a downward spiral (a conversation of no possibility) and you began enrolling people in possibility. And in turn what if the people you affected were able to enroll others in the journey of possibility? Visualize what is possible from that perspective or vantage point. What if you were to recognize the life force in the people around you, acknowledging each person as a being with creative possibility, and spoke to that part of them? The Zanders call this seeing “the shining eyes” in others. With this kind of seeing, what would be possible for them and, consequently, for you?
Envision what would be possible for you and others if you were able to quiet the voice in your head that says, “I can’t do it.” Consider what it would be like if you did not take yourself too seriously! For example, Ben and Roz suggest that when you make a mistake, rather than beat yourself up or belittle yourself for your actions, simply say “How fascinating.” Ben and Roz tell us we can not fear making mistakes because they are an important part of learning and growing. Can you imagine walking around and hearing yourself and others saying “How fascinating.” – with no judgment, no shame attached, just allowing the mistake to simply be what it is?
You have the capacity to design and implement a reality that is in alignment with what gives your life meaning and purpose in service of others. Ben and Roz suggest that “we can invent any future that we can dream, because life is a story we invent as we go.” What will it take for you to step up and claim your calling? What small steps can you put into practice in your daily habits to radiate possibility to and for others?
Concepts of Radiating Possibility (The Art of Possibility, by Ben and Roz Zander)
- Speak in Possibility
- Look for Shining Eyes
- Enroll every voice in the vision
- Lead by making others powerful (The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound.)
- Quiet the voice in the head that says, “I can’t do it.”
- First rule of leadership. Remember rule #6: ‘Don’t take yourself too seriously.