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The Hummingbird Effect: The Harder You Try…The Behinder You Get, Sometimes

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In a previous article, I vividly described “The Hummingbird Effect” in a metaphor to illustrate that sometimes when trying harder and harder and more frantically and urgently doing more of what doesn’t work to solve a problem—actually encourages the dreaded problem to continue AND get larger and enlarge into a megalo-fear. In the story of the Hummingbird that I told, you learned how the harder “Birdee” flew UP knocking her head against the white ceiling of my garage, the more disoriented and “lost” she became.

GETTING OUT OF THE BOX YOU FIND YOURSELF IN

The solution, of course, was to fly DOWN and circle BACK to get out of the box. Just goes to show, the solutions to your problem in your organization, company or family may not be to go UP and FORWARD…but to go fly down and circle back, sometimes. So, think of the “The Hummingbird Effect” and other animal parables the next time you feel panicked and trapped in a box that you haven’t designed but a box you need to exit, nonetheless.

SO HOW TO SCORE A NEW START TO SOLVE OLD PROBLEMS?

Here are NINE WAYS TO SCORE A NEW START TO OLD PROBLEMS AT WORK AND HOME:

1. BE FULL OF INTEGRITY…NOT FULL OF ‘IT’

2. BLAME THE BOONDOGGLE, NOT THE BIRD

3. DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE OTHER FEATHER DROPPING…BECAUSE IT WILL

4. ANXIETY IS BORROWING TROUBLE…SO DON’T TAKE OUT A LOAN

5. YOU CAN FIX STUPID BY DOING LESS OF WHAT ISN’T WORKING…AND DOING MORE OF WHAT IS WORKING

6. BE A SMART COMMUNICATOR: KNOW THE HARDER YOU TRY, THE BEHINDER YOU GET, SOMETIMES

7. WHEN YOU TIRE YOURSELF OUT…REST AND RE-FUEL

8. IF WHAT ISN’T WORKING STILL ISN’T WORKING…TRY DOING THE OPPOSITE FOR A CHANGE

9. DO LESS WHEN DOING MORE ISN’T WORKING OUT SO WELL FOR YOU

So when at first you don’t succeed…try, try doing something different! In fact, good leaders know how “IT’s NOT FAIR!” IS supremely fair.

ABOUT DR. DENNIS O’GRADY

Dr. Dennis O’Grady provides executive coaching and professional development training in Ohio and surrounding states. Dennis is the author of “Talk to Me: Communication Moves to Get Along with Anyone” which is a relationship development and leadership training workbook. In this results-driven new communication program, you will learn the crucial differences and derailment factors between Empathizer-type communicators and Instigator-type communicators. Dr. O’Grady leads workshops, and provides executive coaching, leadership development and business consulting, on how to get along with everyone by talking more effectively. Dr. O’Grady’s goal is to give people a new understanding as they drive down the two-way communicator highway. For a synopsis of Dr. O’Grady’s leadership development book, please visit http://www.drogrady.com/web_Mailer.html.

2 Comments »

  1. How do you get out of the box you find yourself in? Sometimes when trying harder and harder and more frantically and urgently doing more of what doesn’t work to solve a problem—actually encourages the dreaded problem to continue AND get larger and enlarge into a megalo-fear. SO…why not try doing something different for a change…as you “give up on giving up” instead of giving up on your dream?

    Comment by Dr. Dennis O'Grady — August 24, 2006 @ 5:50 am

  2. I finally learned #6 this weekend. Trying to get thru to someone when they are always right. #8 is good also. I did learn to do the opposite and next time I won’t take the bait, tell the truth and be the bad guy again. #9 tells me to just smile next time and keep quiet.

    Comment by Melodee — September 4, 2006 @ 9:17 pm

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