Okay. Bear with me here. I’ve noodled this for some time and will do my best to keep it simple.
What if, when we produce a new ‘something’ it triggers the same reaction as when we give or take part in a birth. A real one.
What if, when people reject the new ‘something’ with criticism our inner being recoils because it shocks our procreative wiring on a visceral level.
What might happen if all your creations moving forward are welcomed with gentle love?
What if all new creations are as invested in as is a newborn?
And what if when they are first regarded, their beauty, youth and potential are considered, and along with them, your hopes, dreams and wishes for their longevity and good health.
Introducing the Angel’s Advocate®
You can begin to do this by using the Angel’s Advocate® approach to receiving new ideas. With practice among people you know and like, your friends and family, it would make transferring the behaviour to the workplace easier, agree?
(Note: the Angel’s Advocate® is sourced from Creativity and Personality Types: Tools for Understanding and Inspiring the Many Voices of Creativity, Huntington Beach: Telos Publications, 2001, p.20. I’m revising it over the summer and will post info as its progress unfolds.)
Here’s how to be an Angel’s Advocate®
Upon hearing a new idea, one that crackles your accepted point of view, or is a little different from what you already know –
- Find three things that are good about it. When you do this it overcomes that natural instinct to criticize. It also affirms the other person’s new thinking and encourages them to do more of it.
- Mention any objections you have as concerns. Saying something like, ‘and what concerns me is…’ then highlight some of the obstacles you see to the idea becoming groundwork for new decisions. ONE BIG CAUTION – when you move on to this stage, use the word AND, not BUT. When BUT is used, it totally wipes away anything you said right at the beginning.
- Ask the other person, ‘how might those concerns be addressed? What are some ways the we can overcome the obstacles?’ Listen to the other person, and, if you like, add a few suggestions yourself.
- When the idea generating to overcome the obstacles is over… (that could take more than a day because some people like to mull it over or think it through before going the next step) ask, ‘so, what are the next steps?’
You don’t have to use the entire Angel’s Advocate process to start practicing it. Begin by using the very first step. Pay attention to how you feel and how the other person responds when you immediately say three things you like about their idea.
I know, you likely want others to treat your ideas this way. For that to happen you need to assume creative leadership to demonstrate the behaviour first.
The big plus of using the Angel’s Advocate with your family and friends? To borrow lines from an old show tune, “Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see, Que sera sera.” Many events will occur outside of your influence. Using the Angel’s Advocate will help you move forward to create what’s next in your community, family and lives.
New ideas. New decisions. New behaviours. Creativity.