One of the powerful questions I use with my coaching clients when they are confronting a conflict or problem is, “what was your part in bringing this about”.
I just discovered that I signed up a client for a conference using the wrong name but correct email, phone number, and address. That had to be the registrar’s error, right? I wouldn’t make that kind of mistake! That’s called “shift the burden” (read, “blame”). Actually, I did do it – it was my bad. And I’ve learned that I have to own up to and clean up my own mess.
However, the temptation is always there to shift the blame, dodge the responsibility, avoid “cleaning up”.
When we stop to think about the ways we might be complicit in a conflict, broken relationship, marital stress or (fill in your own “blank” here), we began to realize the interconnectedness of the humans systems in which we live and work.
We also begin to realize our own frailties and our need to learn and grow. So what have I learned? You don’t really want to know, do you? Ok, I do sometimes make matters worse – my silence, guilt, embarrassment – all add up to complicating the situation. Admitting my contribution opens the door to collaborative peacemaking and resolution. Sometimes the other will take me up on the invitation and sometimes not. And sometimes that make me see a blind spot that I missed altogether.
The answer to the title question, Who, Me? is “yes, me”. Humbling as it may be, recognizing our role is the first step to wholeness.