I think I’m not alone in saying that I watched more campaign, election and inauguration coverage than in years past. I got to see and hear much commentary from the candidates, their seconds, the commentators and pundits of all stripes. The phenomenon that was most interesting to me was the pivot.
If a candidate or spokesperson didn’t want to answer the question asked, they would offer a few words that lead you to believe they were going to go down the answer trail, but quickly and deftly made a pivot move and took us down a side trail where they lead us away from the question.
The problem with that strategy is the question remains, and hangs in the air to be asked again and again. The person who pivots most is known as the king or queen of “conversational dodge ball.” It’s not a coveted title.
There is a better use for pivoting – pivoting towards, rather than away.
When you have a question dogging you, the temptation is to pivot away, but as we learned from the election coverage, it only lives on to bite you another day.
Pivoting towards deals with the question at hand and finally provides some answers to the dilemma.
Pivoting towards begins when you recognize you are putting off the inevitable. When this realization hits, you recognize that your temptation to dodge once again digs you deeper into your “Alice in Wonderland” rabbit hole.
Reminds me of my Aikido training . . .
The most foreign thing to learn in certain martial arts is to step into the attack. Our natural response is to step away. When you step in skillfully, you take the power out of the attacking force and use it against them to propel them in a direction that works better for you.
Pivoting towards allows you to unclutter your mind from baggage you’ve been carrying for years. When you pivot towards your problem, you set the stage and make space for a resolution, rather than another round of results-less retreat that bogs you down.
Dodging is like treading water or swimming upstream. You use lots of energy and get nowhere. You can use that same energy to pivot towards your problem and swim with the tide towards a solution.
What question are you dodging? Noticing what you’re dodging may be all the recognition you need to pivot towards a solution.
Most difficulties don’t solve themselves but we operate from the Pollyanna position that they will if we ignore them once again.
Imitating an ostrich gets you a birds-eye view of your hiding place. Pivoting towards an answer gets your head removed from some other dark hole.
All the best,
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