by Certified Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA
Have you every played tug of war? Do you remember gripping the rough edges of the rope scraping your hands while you pulled with all your might? Now imagine that the person on the other end of the rope lets go. What happens?
You may encounter situations in your practice and in your life where people want you to “pick up the rope” or you want other people to “pick up the rope." In real life, playing tug of war is a metaphor often used to describe a frustrating standoff with another person. “We played tug of war over where to go out to dinner.” It usually occurs because you are attached to controlling an outcome.
Examples of being asked to “pick up the rope” include:
Someone (a spouse, client, friend, etc) becomes passive aggressive or even aggressive and starts to pick a fight with you trying to get you to react
Another person wishes to engage you in a senseless struggle over opinions, ideas, solutions, etc that goes nowhere
A person wants you to enable their behavior so that they don’t have to take charge of his/her own life
You allow yourself to become triggered by someone else’s behavior to engage in a fight
Examples of you asking someone else to “pick up the rope” include:
Trying to get into someone else’s business and make him/her do something by trying to control or manipulate him/her
Becoming overly emotional and trying to get a reaction out of someone else
Picking a fight or trying to get attention by upsetting someone
Trying to engage someone by any means necessary—even when it works against your goal
Every human has been on both ends of the “rope.” This may be occurring often in your life and in your practice if you find yourself feeling a sense of constant struggle, feeling attached to every outcome and attempting to control everything.
Where this behavior can undermine a practice is when you develop strong attachments to your clients choices, actions, reactions and decisions. If you go right to the “rope” to attempt to gain a sense of control over your practice you may find that the pattern can become more of a struggle, grow more entrenched and stall out your production.“Letting go of the rope has saved if not grown more cases for me. When people say they want to cancel, I drop the rope. I let them have their own ownership over their own plan instead of me saying this is my plan that I want you to do. It allows me to play the role of a consultant versus a salesman,” said Wealth Management Advisor Karl Dettmann, based out of the Kosnick Financial Group in Middleton, Wisconsin.
Many of my clients are waging a tug of war that they don’t even know they are in! It is often motivated out of a sense of fear and wanting to make it in the business. The challenge is that your attachment to the outcome can result in frustration, burnout, lack of relationship-building, short-term transactional thinking and an overall sense of powerlessness.
The remedy is to:
1) Check to see if you are holding on to the rope.
2) If you are holding the rope, announce to yourself that you are letting go and gently place it to the ground and are no longer up for tug of war.
3) Observe when you feel like someone is asking you to pick up the rope or you are asking someone else to pick up the rope. Consciously decide not to do so.
4) Relax into a state of “delicate detachment.” Let go of your imaginary grip on the outcome of everything.
5) Seek out evidence of abundance. For example, can you help everyone in this country...your state...your community all within your lifetime with financial planning? Probably not! There are so many people out there who want help. Let go and move on!
6) Seek out a conscious state of balance between being engaged yet detached. From this place you do not need any one case or need any one client. This will clear “commission breath” right up!
So, drop the rope! Enjoy your newfound energy and confidence.