Bumper cars are fun at the State Fair but a little scary. You can only go forward. You can turn, but you can’t back up. If you get stuck in a pile-up with other cars or in the corner, the attendant has to turn the electricity off and run across the floor and physically turn your car so you can get out of the jam.
Sometimes I watch conversations evolve into a bumper car ride. They only go in one direction. And when stuck, the speaker pushes harder, hoping to plow through to achieve their point.
As you drive your car, start noticing how often you use reverse. The reverse gear is often needed in parking. Reverse allows you to back up and go around stopped traffic. The reverse is essential to back out of a dead-end street. Imagine how challenging it would be to drive with no reverse.
Recently I noticed a quintessential leader reverse their conversation. The leader got too enthusiastic in developing their point that they took a breath and calmly said, “you know, as I reflect on what I just said, I don’t know if I really believe that. Would you allow me to reframe it like this ……?” Everyone exhaled, and everyone’s view of that leader was enhanced.
Quintessential leaders discover how to unleash the threefold power of their full engagement of mind, body, and spirit. Listen to your mind, body, and spirit and begin to be in the conversation and see yourself in the conversation. When you see or feel you are getting stuck, consider the audible of a conversational reverse.
ACTION STEP: For a month record a check mark in the front of your Essential Symmetry journal for every time you took advantage of reverse. Begin to see how often in a month you engage all the gears in your communication transmission.