Monday, July 26, 2010

Systems Ju-jitsu Part 10: Tactic 7. Feed the Neurosis

This week’s Systems Ju-jitsu tactic is called Feed the Neurosis. Neurosis is a manifestation of anxiety characterized by symptoms that include insecurity, irrational fears, hysterical reactions, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and phobias. The systems leader does not have to engage in psychoanalysis here. What is necessary is to identify a pattern of functioning that is counterproductive, anxious, and “irrational.” Some of these behaviors seem to be “learned” while others may appear to be personality-based. The issue here is, how does one address these behaviors in order to be effective in working relationships?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Systems Ju-jitsu Part 9: Tactic 6. Sabotage the Saboteur

This week’s Systems Ju-jitsu tactic is called Sabotage the Saboteur.  Whenever the leader moves purposefully toward realizing a vision or moving the system toward responsible actions of integrity, he or she can count on sabotage. Sabotage takes many forms, often surprising ones. Additionally, it is difficult to anticipate who, in their reactivity, will play the role of saboteur. It can be friend or foe.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Systems Ju-jitsu Part 8: Tactic 5. Taking a Dumb Pill

This week’s Systems Ju-jitsu tactic is called Taking a Dumb Pill. The Systems Ju-jitsu tactic of “taking a dumb pill” can serve several purposes. For one, it can keep the leader from overfunctioning through thinking for other persons. When a parishioner or a staff person asks for advice in the form of, “What should I do about this?” they are in effect choosing to underfunction (by not thinking for themselves and avoiding taking responsibility) and inviting the leader to overfunction (do my thinking for me and solve my problem). Getting into the pattern of consistently thinking for others, by giving “advice,” only keeps people dependent and powerless. What leader wants to cultivate a group of persons who lack the ability to think for themselves and take responsibility for their jobs? While being the fount of wisdom for others may feel good to the insecure leader, in the long wrong it is burdensome. Yet many insecure leaders perpetuate these patterns of dependence that eventually burn them out.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Systems Ju-jitsu Part 7: Tactic 4. De-triangle

This week’s Systems Ju-jitsu tactic is called De-triangle. O.k., so one can’t really get out of triangles, especially if you’re the leader in the system. That’s because leaders occupy a position in the system that is the point of multiple systemic triangles, many of which are structured in the system and come with the job. But one can engage in Systems Ju-jitsu with triangles. When leaders get triangled they usually are being asked to take responsibility for something that doesn’t belong to them. Therefore, the goal of the de-triangling tactic is to foster responsibility on the part of another. De-triangling tactics set boundaries and help the leader refuse to take responsibility for other people’s relationships (the other side of the triangle).