˲ Overwhelm: There is too much to
do. I do not have time to wait for other
people to do what I need them to do. I
just have to do it all myself and hope
that I can complete everything. No one
can help me.
As you reflect on these moods, you
discover you have acquired these
˲ The leader must be competent at
all times. Therefore, I must be competent at all times.
˲If the leader delegates and the
team fails, it is the leader’s fault. Delegating to people that are less competent than me is too risky. I might be out
of business or get fired.
˲ If team members are not up to the
task, the leader must step in. If people
cannot perform up to my expectations,
I must take over to save the project.
From this reflection you discover
that you avoid delegating because of
standards you acquired in the past.
ground” occurrences that we feel as
sensations such as anger at an insult
or joy at a child’s smile. Moods are
“background”—they are more like an
atmosphere, saturated by vapors of
our history and experiences, in which
things and possibilities show up in our
situation. We can almost always identify the event that triggered an emotion, but we seldom notice our moods.
They are automatic assessments that
open or close possibilities for us outside our awareness.
Sometimes moods are temporary
and can shift easily. For example, you
can be in a mood of resignation (no
possibilities are visible) and a parent, teacher, or manager can show
you a new possibility that breaks the
mood. Sometimes a prevailing mood
will yield when you discover a hidden
standard and determine to change it.
However, some moods are deeply ingrained habitual dispositions that lead
you into actions you do not intend. You
have adopted a set of personal practices that keep you in conformity with
your hidden standards. If you try to violate a practice, you feel extremely uncomfortable and you do not even know
why. To shift the long-term mood you
will have to train yourself into new
practices. That may take time.
Let us consider an important example: delegation. You consider yourself
a poor delegator and you see that you
and your team could accomplish more
if you were to delegate more. Others,
including potential investors in your
company, agree. But, for some reason,
you do not delegate despite your desire
to learn to do so. In your exploration
of the four questions, you discover you
have these moods:
˲ Distrust: My team members lack
important skills; I dare not delegate.
˲Insecurity: If I delegate, team
members are going to think that I am
not capable of handling things myself.
˲Resignation: Every delegation I
have tried fails. I wind up having to do
it myself anyway.
˲Frustration: I would like other
people to do as well as I do, but I cannot seem to get that to happen. I just
have to do it myself and not get to the
other stuff that needs my attention until later.
Table 3. Moods that block learning.
Mood Associated Assessments
Apathy I don’t really care about this. I see no reason to try.
Arrogance I already know this. There is nothing new for me here. They ought to listen
to me. I don’t need to listen to other people because what they have to say is
Boredom This is totally uninteresting. What a waste of time. There is no point even in
pretending to be engaged.
Confusion I do not understand what is going on here and I do not like it. It is bad to be
confused. Get me out of here.
They are insincere or incompetent. They are not watching out for my interests.
This may backfire or otherwise not work out.
Fear, anxiety I don’t know what is going to happen. Something bad will happen to me. I will be
harmed if I make a mistake. It’s better not to do anything than to try and fail.
Frustration I keep trying and failing. I cannot do it as fast as I should. It does not work the
way it is supposed to.
Impatience This is wasting my time. There is no value here. Let’s move on, now.
Insecurity I have no confidence in myself. I can’t do this. I am not good enough to be here.
People are going to criticize me.
Overwhelm The sheer volume of what is going on is too much for me. I cannot find a way to
move forward, except to keep working hard and expect to fail.
Resignation There are no possibilities for resolving the issue. I am never going to be able
to do this. I have seen this happen over and over in the past. Nothing new will
happen. There is no point in trying.
Table 2. Moods that support learning.
Mood Associated Assessments
Ambition I really want this outcome. I am sure I can achieve it.
I am committed to achieving it.
Confidence I believe in my own capabilities to achieve my goals. I have done this before
and can do it again. I know who to ask for help and who will take care of me.
I am unable to make sense of what is going on, but I am intrigued.
I will keep looking until I figure this out.
Resolution I am determined to make this happen, no matter what.
I accept that the past has already happened and I have no control. I accept that
the future is full of surprises and I cannot predict. I am grateful to life.
Trust I am learning from experienced people who are taking care of me. I know they
are competent and sincere when the make promises to me. I believe they have
my interests at heart.
Wonder I do not know what is going on, but I like it. There are so many possibilities
to learn more.