Recently, I went to Sudan to coach a group of engineers to become coaches. For them being highly technical people, such soft skills concepts like Coaching were totally new to them.
After the session, a small group of them came privately to confide in me that, while they are excited about using their new coaching skills, they are also worried and concerned about their current reputation and credibility in the eyes of their subordinates. From what they told me, the relationship between them and their subordinates have not been good for a long time.
Inevitably, the subject revolved around 2 options:
Option 1 – To “resign”, meaning, to give up their plans to be coach-leaders; or
Option 2 – To ‘”resolve”, meaning, to find a solution to their concerns.
So, the million-dollar question was : which of these two was better.
Often in our lives, we are faced with having to exercise one of these two options as a way to get out of our woes or predicament. Whatever decision we choose will impact us differently. So, when we are at the crossroads of having to choose an option, we better think hard.
In my opinion, “to resolve” means having the courage to get it over and ensuring that the issue is laid to rest. There is a finality and acceptance to the issue and we also learn to adopt a perspective to challenge it with greater clarity should it surfaces again.
On the other hand, “to resign” is another kettle of fish altogether. It implies that there is a great feeling of powerlessness around us. It is a kind of shrugging off our shoulders as we have no power or choice in the matter.
So, what’s the next move?
The first thing to do is to ask ourselves what our value is and why is it important to us. Very often, we spend an inordinate amount of time thinking, talking and reacting over stuff that are not really important in our lives. In the bigger scheme of things, does it really matter?
Take an example of your spouse or friend not appreciating what you have bought for her/him, or your boss’s “bad taste” remark that your children do not listen to you! What’s your immediate reaction? Get upset, angry, or frustrated? Start an argument even though you know you may not win? Blame the other party and wait for an apology (which may not come, or takes a long time to come)? Wait for the other person to change his/her ways?
Or you can take time out to reflect on what’s really going on and look for an opportune time to talk it out when the emotions are not so high. Now, for the important part – act on what you know now. It is no point keeping it to yourself or hope the other party can read your mind and make the first move. Always remember, it is your call!
Do you always have to do this? No. It depends on the sort of relationship you want to have and the kind of life you are willing to work for. You can either work towards resolution or resignation. The choice is yours!
• How often do you have to choose between “resolve” or “resign” as defined above?
• What does it involve?
• What will make you decide if it is important enough to pursue the issue?
• What action will you take?
• How will you feel about it?