Trusting the process

A certain category of consultants can be heard to say ”trust the process” to their clients. 

I’m afraid I’m one of them. 

But, in the context of social environments this advice can actually make some sense. Instead of trying to actively control and influence a certain social process one could chose another strategy. A strategy that builds upon seeking mutual interest and responsibility, and not just from one very active (and sometimes aggressive) party. 

When one party is stronger and more active this creates an imbalance in the relationship. An imbalance that is likely to stay as long as the relationship lasts. Over time this inevitably creates diverging expectations, misunderstandings, misconceptions and downright mistrust. Why? Because the stronger party enforced it’s will – through flattery, coercion, negotiation skills, money, manipulation – or some other way. 

Most business contracts and partnerships are based on such imbalances. Most business contracts and partnerships don’t last very long. 

I’m writing this as I have realized that I need to take my own medicine. 

I have at least three exciting initiatives that have lost momentum. The conventional logic says that I should activate myself and push things forward. Take leadership. But something made me hesitate and think a little more about these initiatives and identify a common dilemma for them. 

The dilemma is that these initiatives mean far too much for me to ruin them by me taking charge. 

If they are to become reality I need to have an active response – and corresponding will to lead – from the people I want to collaborate with. So, the insight for today is to trust the process and not force my way. And give my potential partners some time to mobilize themselves. And realize that if I do take charge at this moment my initiatives are likely to fail – because I can’t do them on my own.

Now, what I have to do, which also is a form of leadership, is to figure out a a way to engage my potential partners without enforcing my will. But also forgiving them if they chose not to step up to the opportunity. And, most importantly, forgive myself if these initiatives don’t ever become reality.

//jan

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