In cartoons, when a character is faced with a tough decision, an angel appears on one shoulder and a devil on the other. Each gets an ear. In real life, we don’t just hear two voices when faced with a tough decision. We hear many voices. You might have the voice of a teacher, parent, mentor, author, or annoying neighbor in your head. You might even hear the voice of the small child inside you that has decided not to grow up! These voices, in essence, form a committee or board. You–the voice that speaks clearest and loudest–are the board’s chair.
As chair, you often entertain the same questions and answers. You take a vote. And you wind up making familiar decisions and taking familiar actions.
Boards need turnover and new blood–especially if they’re dysfunctional. Take inventory of the board members inside your head. Chances are one or more of these board members has served (or distracted or undermined or misled) long enough.
Change the board members inside your head, and you can change the questions you ask and the answers you get. Instead of asking, “How is this going to fail?” ask the board, “How can I be successful at…?” Marilee Adams developed this strategy, and it can make profound changes in the conversations you have with yourself and the behaviors they inspire.
Like any healthy organizational board, you should consider a term limit and invite new members to the committee.
Related post: Change Your Life by Changing Your Question