It’s Never Sufficient, But Always Welcome
Writing a weekly blog comes with its challenges, but thanks to the many groups of people with whom I interact, I never seem to be at a loss for topics.
Some of my favourite occurrences are those where something comes up in one discussion, and that triggers something else from a few days earlier, only to be supplemented with something else later.
This kind of serendipity seems to be following me around lately, so I’m just going to run with it.
And so it was with the idea of “hope” and how its fits in in so many places.
Facilitation and Positive Psychology
It’s been over three years now since I completed the five courses that form part of the ORSC (Organisational and Relationship System Coaching) program, but thankfully our cohort does sometimes stay in touch (thanks MK).
As we commiserated recently over the difficulties some have had due to the pandemic, one colleague brought up a methodology they’d found and were enjoying that’s centered around hope.
That got me flashing back to one of the courses we’d done together where an instructor shared her “Two MAJOR Points” for facilitators who use the ORSC method.
The two keys for her were as follows:
- Revealing the System to Itself
- Staying Positive
I trust that readers will easily understand why I choose to equate “staying positive” with “hope”.
Indeed, anyone who facilitates discussions or activities with a group of people would do well to remain positive and hopeful, because failing that, your leadership can spiral downhill quickly.
(Note to self: cover “revealing the system to itself” in another post, soon)
My VIA Character Strengths “A-Ha” Moment
As we spoke about hope, at first I recalled the old expression that “Hope is NOT a Strategy”, which I first heard long ago, when I was focused on buying stocks low and selling them high.
It was pointed out to me that in order to cut your losses, you needed to have a plan to exit a position that happened to go south, because simply buying and holding, and “hoping” did not work very well as noted in the above maxim, so you needed to have some other strategy to deal with such situations.
But then I glanced down at my desk where I came across the printout of my most recent VIA Character Strengths survey, which I had done as part of the recent RendeZoom conference. See “What Color Is Your Cape?”
Wouldn’t you know it, right up in the No.4 spot of my personalized report was “Hope”.
So while hope is not a strategy, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a strength. And when you add it to the positivity that facilitators need to bring, this was starting to feel real to me.
Flashing Back Again
After the call with my ORSC colleagues, I thought back to the RendeZoom conference, which included a lot of occasions to work in small breakout groups within many of the sessions.
In one of those that had followed our keynote on positive psychology and the importance of focusing on strengths, I had shared with a few attendees that one of my strengths was hope, and I gave a recent, specific example of where it had helped me.
I related a recent mediation that I had led for a sibling group, which we finally completed with success.
I shared that one more than one occasion, one or two of the siblings were not feeling very confident that a resolution could be reached.
Despite the negative views, I forged on, sometimes reminding them that I remained “hopeful, if not confident” that we could come to something that they could all agree to. And we did.
“You’re Probably Right”
I’d be remiss if I didn’t use this opportunity to share one of my favourite expressions that I’ve loved since I first heard it decades ago.
“Whether you think you CAN,
Or you think you CAN’T,
You’re probably right”
When working with families, especially those who are wading through some tough issues, providing hope and positivity will almost always be welcome, and even necessary.
There’s likely already enough negativity to work through, so as a resource being brought into a system from the outside, the least we can do is bring the hope for a positive resolution for the family.
I think I can, and I’m probably right.