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I was chatting with Jim (a senior manager in a multi-national financial services company) last week. He was telling me about a project he had not been able to finish because his boss had not given him all the tools he needed for completion.

I was surprised at our conversation. Jim is a good project manager and his career success is testament to his incredible ability to do what is needed no matter what obstacles might get in his way. Something was getting in the way of his success in this particular project.

So I questioned a bit further. What had stopped Jim from asking for the tools and authority he needed? His boss it seemed. How did his boss stop him? By not telling him he could ask for what he wanted. (It was becoming evident we were going in circles in this conversation!)

Red lights were going off in my mind as I listened, because I know that when a conversation starts to go in circles, it is because someone is abdicating responsibility and accountability somewhere. (See previous tip.) I also know that when someone who is as capable as Jim starts to do this, it is because the ‘en-title programme’ has been activated and is running in the background of his mind.

So what is the en-title programme?

‘En-title’ – means to take ownership of; or to take title of something. The en-title programme runs most effectively if the background conversation (the thoughts your mind is running) is about why you are entitled to feel anger or resentment towards someone or something. As you know, anger towards someone else is generally because you believe that they are responsible for something that has gone wrong in your life. So, in order to be entitled to anger, you have to believe that you are not response-able. In other words, you have to believe that you are not able to respond in a situation. You have to give your power away to the other person.

When we look at it like this, it is a quite a high price to pay for the short-term luxury of anger.

So what is the antidote to this mind virus, I hear you asking.

The em-power programme

‘Em-power’ – means to invest with; or take in power. The em-powerment programme runs most effectively if our background conversation is about why you are en-titled to 100% responsibility for a situation or result. In order to feel empowered, you have to take your power back.

And when we look at it like that, the short-term pain of facing up to your situations can offer the long-term luxury of feeling more power-ful.

And Jim? Well, he realised that his internal computer was running a virus and decided to enable the antidote: running a new background conversation where he kept telling himself he was taking back the power he had been giving away

(C) Anne Fuller-Good

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