Creative negotiating

photo The teachers in my daughter's school district will begin a strike tomorrow. Evidently contract negotiations with the school board weren't successful. Since there are always many sides to every story it seems pointless to form an opinion on who is right and who is wrong.

In my mind there very very rarely is a clear right or wrong side in a discussion or argument. A position or argument seems wrong until you, figuratively speaking, tilt your head just a tiny bit, just enough to change your perspective.

A tiny shift of perspective can mean a complete shift in paradigm.

This morning a saw an apple on my kitchen counter. I reached for it to bring  to work for a later snack. I felt something soft between my fingers. The apple was completely brown and soft on the side that was facing the wall. In an instant a seemingly perfect choice for snack changed into compost or at best material for applesauce.  From the wall's perspective I was wrong to even consider bringing the apple as snack.  From my perspective, I was only able to see the crisp red side of the apple.

If I would have started an argument with the wall we would still be "negotiating" or arguing about the quality of the apple. Luckily I am a kinesthetic being and can move easily to change my perspective in order to experience , in this case, the apple from the perspective of the wall.

When we get afraid we tend to brace ourselves, lock our knees, narrow our visual field and experience faster breathing. A fight or flight reaction isn't very conducive for subtle head tilts, weight-shifts and slight movements in order to see a situation from a new perspective. Who cares what the proverbial tiger, that just jumped out in front of you, sees and thinks if you are afraid to be its lunch.

Creative problem-solving requires for us to feel safe. At least we need to feel safe in our own bodies.

Fear is lousy  ground for creative thinking. We know how the "tiger meets human scenario" ends with both the tiger and the person in fear.

The moment we remember to tap into our human potential of differentiated thinking we have choices. In the case of the teachers negotiating with the school board, nobody has to be the proverbial tiger. When humans meet humans without fear, the situation allows for choices.

By remembering our inherent safety of our breath, and  our kinesthetic selves, we can choose to move, to shift our perspective and to widen our visual field to a more inclusive view.

When both of us shift our weight just a little bit and allow our bodies to turn ever so slightly we can find ourselves walking in the same direction and can begin negotiating. Fearless access to our human ability to creative problem-solving and negotiating allows for the unthinkable and new to unfold.