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Unstuck 2.2: Radical Acceptance

”Why do you suppose he always acts like a snake?,” my client asked.

”Probably because he’s a snake.”

”Wha ??”

As I consultant, I describe myself as an expert at not being an expert. I know little about what my clients do as a business, but their technical details don’t usually get in their way. Something right before their eyes more often seems to.

Organizational difficulties emerge within a context I could not have access to or knowledge about before I’m poking around within that space. I am not nor will I ever be a content or process expert. As an expert at not being an expert, I rely upon my perception much more than my knowledge because I couldn’t possibly know beforehand. My contribution most often distills into simple observation.

This client had been stuck in that space where seeing disconnects from believing. It seemed quite obvious to me that he was acting like a snake. As an expert at not being an expert, I figured that if he acts like a snake, Occum might well agree that the simplest explanation might probably be that it’s because he IS a snake.

My client got stuck rejecting the obvious. She’d been hoping her eyes were lying to her, I guess.

Acceptance must not be a passive response, prefaced by rejection as it often is. Denial, I’m learning, might be the first stage of acceptance, which often appears at the twisty snake-tail end of a process that feels more static stuck than dynamic or radical.

Radical Acceptance leverages the radical-feeling notion that things just might be just as they appear. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, how is it radical to accept that it is, indeed a duck?


©2012 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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