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Tackling a problem that truly has no solution

Monday, April 8, 2019 - 06:00
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I have bad news: a tremendous amount of conflict will occur in our lives.

OK, that was a hook; in reality there is no bad news or good news. It is just news and how we react to the news will determine whether the conflict can be turned into a positive, versus a negative.

Keep in mind, it is important to remain focused on the opportunity for success, and not on the potential of failure.

With that said, I will share a realization I recently had. I once believed that there was a solution to every problem; however, I have become aware of one problem with which has no solution.

To reiterate what we all know, a solution is a means of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation. In my 30 years of training adults and children in personal and professional development, I have come to the realization that there is one problem that cannot be solved. I believe there is no solution to the problem of a commitment to a lack of commitment. And an even bigger problem is not being able to recognize and admit to the lack of commitment.

How do you know when there is a lack of commitment? You will know because the same problems and issues will keep repeating themselves. You stay stuck in the same place and do not advance to the next level.

Quite often when this is occurring, the person demonstrating the lack of commitment will say things like, “I am trying,” “I am not perfect,” or “Be patient with me.” I have even heard someone say, “You knew who I was when you met me, why did you expect something different?”

You cannot fake commitment because over time your lack of commitment is going to blow up in your face. If you committed to a positive attitude, you will not be able to fake a positive attitude because it will be clear when you are being negative. Negativity can be smelled a mile away.

If you committed to be supportive, you will not be able to fake being supportive; it will be clear when you don’t have your team member’s or partner’s back.

If you committed to be effectively communicative, you will not be able to fake being effectively communicative. It will be clear you lack commitment when you do not voice your opinions, hold on to concerns and blow up with emotions after letting thoughts simmer, or when you bring drama into the relationship.

If you committed to be personally responsible for your choices and your actions, you will not be able to fake personal responsibility. Your lack of commitment will be clear when you make excuses and blame others.

When working with teams to build stronger cultures, I have an opportunity to see the effects of a lack of commitment on relationships.

Oftentimes, people raise their hand and say they are committed. It is easy to appear committed when there is no challenging circumstance to overcome; however, when the storms begin to rage, and unforeseen circumstances happen, folks get to demonstrate whether they are truly committed or not.

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When the commitments individuals made are challenged, and they choose to demonstrate a lack of commitment, the fruit they produce in that moment is so definitive that it is obvious there is a lack of commitment. In those moments, it does not matter if they say, “Trust me, I am committed,” because their words do not match their deeds.

If the person demonstrating a lack of commitment recognized they are the problem and desired to make amends, their unspoken “I am sorry” would be manifested in their future behavior. Their actions demonstrating commitment moving forward would weigh more than any words they profess.

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